Saturday, February 4, is World Cancer Day 2023, a global health awareness event led by the Union for International Cancer Control. The day marks the start of the second phase of a three-year campaign titled “Close the Care Gap” that kicked off in 2022 with a focus on “realizing the problem.” This year’s focus is on “uniting our voices and taking action.” The campaign’s final phase, in 2024, will hew to the theme “we challenge those in power.”
Founded in 2000, World Cancer Day aims to improve education, raise awareness and inspire personal, collective and government action to provide access to lifesaving cancer treatment and care for the millions of people worldwide with cancer.
Organizations, governments, individuals and health care providers plan in-person and online events around World Cancer Day. WorldCancerDay.org offers downloadable materials—including tool kits, infographics and posters—as well as a map of activities. Search #WorldCancerDay and #CloseTheCareGap to find those relevant to you.
For example, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and other cancer groups will observe the day by releasing the Health Equity Report Card, which includes 17 actions to reduce disparities and #CloseTheCareGap.
While celebrating the progress that has been made in improving access to cancer care, World Cancer Day encourages the hard work still required to make cancer care more equitable.
Of the 2023 effort, WorldCancerDay.org writes:
“As our campaign continues, we will join with like-minded people because we know that we are stronger when we are united. We will celebrate real-world progress in its many forms and allow that momentum to fuel our fight for fairness. We’ll do more than spread the word—we’ll shout it from the rooftops. We’ll build stronger alliances and innovative new collaborations.
Our actions can take countless forms: motivating neighbors to provide transport to cancer treatment for a fellow resident or ensuring that healthy and affordable food options are offered at the local school.
“We’ll mobilize our friends, family, coworkers and communities because we know that together we can achieve almost anything.”
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