World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day 2012

World Cancer Day is a global observance that helps raise people’s awareness of cancer and how to prevent, detect or treat it. This event is held on February 4 each year.

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008. The main types of cancer are:

  • Lung (1.4 million deaths)
  • Stomach (740 000 deaths)
  • Liver (700 000 deaths)
  • Colorectal (610 000 deaths)
  • Breast (460 000 deaths).

About 70% of all cancer deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue to rise to over 11 million in 2030.

More than 30% of cancer could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors, including:

  • Tobacco use
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Low fruit and vegetable intake
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Alcohol use
  • Sexually transmitted HPV-infection
  • Urban air pollution
  • Indoor smoke from household use of solid fuels.