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JANUARY

National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month was first recognized in 2002 and is observed every January. It was introduced in 1999 as a House Concurrent Resolution by Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.) and as a Senate Resolution by Sen. Connie Mack III (R-Fla.).

Cervical cancer, caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), can be prevented with a vaccine. See Cancer Health’s Cervical Cancer Basics page and our news and information about cervical cancer. Learn more about the cervical cancer community from the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.


FEBRUARY

National Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month raises awareness of these less common cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, about 12,300 people are diagnosed with gallbladder cancer about 8,000 people are diagnosed with bile duct cancer—also known as cholangiocarcinoma—every year. World Cholangiocarcinoma Day is an international campaign observed every February 12.

See Cancer Health’s Gallbladder and Bile Duct Cancer Basics page and our news and information about gallbladder cancer and bile duct cancer. Learn more about the gallbladder and bile duct community from the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation and these and related cancers from the Bili Project.

National Cancer Prevention Month was first observed in 2004 after the passage of Senate Resolution 252 in 2003. It was introduced by Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.) to encourage communities across the country to "take this opportunity to educate one another on the steps they can take to prevent cancer.”

Cancer prevention can include making lifestyle changes like reducing your sun exposure and stopping smoking; public health campaigns like increasing access to the HPV vaccine; and getting regular, recommended cancer screenings.

World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control. It was first observed in 2000. Every February 4, advocates around the world unite to raise public awareness of cancer, with long-term goals including improving treatment and survival rates. Learn more about World Cancer Day goals and this year’s campaign on the WCD site.


MARCH

Myeloma Awareness Month was first observed in the U.S. as part of National Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloma Awareness Month in September 2005. In 2009, the International Myeloma Foundation first recognized March as Myeloma Awareness Month, later renaming its campaign Myeloma Action Month. The U.S. Congress first recognized March as Myeloma Awareness Month in 2014.

Multiple myeloma is a rare blood cancer that affects bone marrow. The American Cancer Society estimates that around 32,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year. Most people diagnosed with multiple myeloma are age 65 or older, and it disproportionately affects African Americans. See Cancer Health’s Multiple Myeloma Basics page and our news and information about multiple myeloma. Learn more about the mutiple myeloma community from the International Myeloma Foundation.

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month was first proclaimed by President Bill Clinton in 2000. It is observed every March to educate people about colorectal cancer prevention and treatment.

Colorectal cancer, which includes cancers of the colon and the rectum, is the third most common cancer in the U.S., with the American Cancer Society reporting over 95,000 new cases annually. It is most prevalent among people over 50. Today, colorectal cancer is often detected at earlier stages thanks to widespread screening. See Cancer Health’s Colon Cancer Basics page and our news and information about colorectal cancer. Learn more about the colorectal cancer community from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and Fight Colorectal Cancer.

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Day was established in 2013 and is observed every March 3 to call attention to this less common but more aggressive type of breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for 15 to 20 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses. It does not have three types of receptors that make breast cancer susceptible to commonly used treatments. It is diagnosed at higher rates in premenopausal women, Black women and women with BRCA gene mutations.

Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Joan Lunden became awareness advocates following their diagnoses with this type of cancer type. See Cancer Health’s news and information about triple-negative breast cancer. Learn more about the triple-negative breast cancer community from the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation and Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

International HPV Awareness Day is a campaign by the International Papillomavirus Society to educate the public about human papillomavirus (HPV), its link to certain cancers and the vaccine that prevents it. IHPV Awareness Day was first observed in 2018 and takes place every March 4. HPV, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections, can cause cervical, anal, genital and oral cancers. Infection can be prevented with a vaccine.

See Cancer Health’s news and information about HPV. Learn more about HPV and cervical cancer from the National Cervical Cancer Coalition.


APRIL

National Cancer Control Month was established by a Congressional Joint Resolution in 1938, and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt first proclaimed April to be Cancer Control Month in 1940. It is an opportunity to educate the public about the need to prevent cancer through public health initiatives such as screening and to improve access to care and treatment.

An article from the Victorville, California, News-Herald illustrates an early Cancer Control Month campaign by the American Society for the Control of Cancer—today the American Cancer Society—to “station nurses in drugstores…to better acquaint the public with the early symptoms of cancer.” Today, government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute run educational initiatives, collect data and fund research. See Cancer Health’s Cancer Prevention Basics page and our news and information about early detection.

National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week is observed internationally every April to bring public attention to the disease. It was created by the Yul Brynner Head and Neck Cancer Foundation—today the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance—in 1998 and focused on head and neck cancers; organizers added oral cancer in 2001. Oral, head and neck cancers are linked to smoking, heavy drinking and, increasingly, human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV vaccine reduces this risk. The American Cancer Society estimates about 53,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year and around 62,000 with head and neck cancer.

See Cancer Health’s Oral (Head and Neck) Cancer Basics page and news and information about oral cancer and head and neck cancer. Learn more about the oral, head and neck cancer community from the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer and the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Testicular Cancer Awareness Month began in 2013 as Testicular Cancer Awareness Week, which was observed every April 1-7. Today it has been extended to the entire month of April, featuring awareness campaigns and promotion of self-exams. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men ages 15 to 34. According to the American Cancer Society, around 9,000 new cases of the disease are diagnosed annually.

See Cancer Health’s Testicular Cancer Basics page and news and information about testicular cancer. Learn more about the testicular cancer community from the Testicular Cancer Society, the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation and the Center for Advocacy for Cancer of the Testes International.

National Minority Cancer Awareness Week was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in April 1987 following passage of House Joint Resolution 119, which was introduced in January 1987 by Rep. Mervyn Dymally (D-Calif.). As part of National Minority Health Month, it is observed the third week of April every year. According to statistics from the National Cancer Institute, minority groups in the U.S. are likelier than white people to be diagnosed with and die of many different types of cancers. To address racial inequalities in cancer diagnoses, NCI established the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities in 2001.

See Cancer Health’s news and information about minorities and cancer. Learn more about minority cancer awareness from the National Cancer Institute, and find out how minorities affected by cancer can get direct support from CancerCare.


More coming soon.