By Ted Trimble, MD, MPH

On Sunday, February 4, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will recognize World Cancer Day, an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). This awareness day provides an opportunity for patients, advocates, researchers, and government officials to come together and raise awareness of the staggering 8.8 million people that lose their life each year to this disease. Thanks to research both in the social and clinical sectors, we’re getting closer to understanding how best to prevent and treat many types of cancer.

NCI, the nation’s leader in cancer research, saw great success in 2017.  A new NCI study identified essential genes for cancer immunotherapy, NCI’s Douglas Lowy, MD, and John Schiller, PhD, received the 2017 Lasker Award for their research leading to the development of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, and Norman Sharpless, MD, was sworn in as the new NCI director. As we look forward into 2018, we’re thankful for the dedication of the researchers, healthcare professionals, and policy makers that are working towards reducing the global burden of cancer. NCI’s Center for Global Health (CGH) anticipates a productive year of continued relationship-building across and within nations, advancing technologies that aid in the screening and treatment of disease, and supporting an agenda for global oncology research.

World Cancer Day’s tagline, “We can. I can.” highlights the international effort—collectively and as individuals—needed to raise awareness and continue making progress toward combatting this disease. In this global battle against cancer, every voice counts. I hope you take the time this year to join CGH as we support this important event.

Looking for materials to share with your social media audience? This year, the UICC World Cancer Day 2018 website is providing infographics, toolkits, posters, and more in over 50 languages—find one and share today!

This article was originally published by the National Cancer Institute. It is republished with permission.