Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 September 2020

World Cancer Day: influential figures from around the world tweet messages of support

This year is the 20th anniversary of the global charity initiative

Staff members of a government-run pharmaceutical college light candles arranged in the formation of a ribbon to promote cancer awareness and mark World Cancer Day, in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru. Reuters 
Staff members of a government-run pharmaceutical college light candles arranged in the formation of a ribbon to promote cancer awareness and mark World Cancer Day, in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru. Reuters 

Annually, February 4 marks World Cancer Day, an international day to raise cancer awareness in a bid to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment. The day, led by the NGO Union for International Cancer Control, hopes to work towards a cancer-free future, globally. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UICC-organised day.

According to the World Health Organisation, "cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and [was] responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Globally, about one in six deaths is due to cancer."

WHO adds: "Approximately 70 per cent of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries. Around one third of deaths from cancer are due to the five leading behavioural and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use and alcohol use." Thus, the awareness World Cancer Day hopes to promote is all the more pertinent.

2020 is the second of three years with the theme, I Am and I Will. The World Cancer Day charity explains of the focus: "This February 4 whoever you are, your actions – big and small – will make lasting, positive change. Because, progress is possible. We need your commitment to create a cancer-free world. This World Cancer Day, who are you and what will you do?

"I Am and I Will is an empowering call to action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future."

As the globe marks World Cancer Day, influential figures have been tweeting their support:

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison:

Lebanese television presenter Ricardo Karam:

Philippines Senator Pia Cayetano:

Indian movie producer Nila Madhab Panda:

Belgian politician Kenza Yacoubi:

"Admiration and solidarity with all those who fight against this disease and with their loved ones," she wrote.

Indian politician Dilip Patel:

British author Giles Paley-Phillips:

Bulgarian politician Mariya Gabriel:

Irish politician Sean Kelly:

Professor and chair of Global Public Health Devi Sridhar:

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Updated: February 4, 2020 02:08 PM

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