February 4 marks the annual World Cancer Day. It was born in 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris and is the global uniting initiative that is led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)1. Today World Cancer Day has grown into a movement for everyone, everywhere to unite under one voice to face one of our greatest challenges in history.
This February 4, we are coming together with people from around the globe for World Cancer Day to raise awareness, improve education and spur action around inequities in cancer care. For the 1 in 5 people who will develop cancer during their lifetime, the timely access to care is of upmost importance; however, not everyone has access to optimal treatment.2
About half of the world’s population lack access to essential health services.3 That’s why in 2022 the UICC introduced a new three-year campaign that is dedicated to bringing about real change related to the inequities of cancer care.
Close the Care Gap4
The “Close the Care Gap” campaign will bring attention to gaps in cancer care that can affect almost everyone around the world. These gaps, which are present in low-, middle- and even high-income countries, can be rooted in income level, socioeconomic status, education or geographical location, and may relate to discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability and more.
This year, the second year of the ‘Close the Care Gap’ campaign, is all about uniting voices and taking action. These 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.
Our effort at Daiichi Sankyo
We at Daiichi Sankyo are hard at work with others across the community to find ways to close the gaps in cancer care. As longtime partners of the UICC, we are proud to support their efforts to drive programming that addresses pervasive care gaps. This includes the UICC Breast Cancer Programme, which is focused on improving the quality of life of patients with breast cancer, especially in low- and middle-income countries where cases are rising and people are often diagnosed later.5
In October 2021, we were proud to support the UICC’s first-ever World Cancer Leaders’ Summit. The two-day virtual summit saw global influencers and leaders from the cancer community, as well as international public health representatives, come together to explore and drive innovation to advance cancer care control equitably.6
Another important initiative we support is Project ECHO, a web-based tele-mentoring program, launched in 2017, designed to improve knowledge sharing for cancer organizations around the world and to support the implementation of effective breast cancer control policies and programs at a local level in under-resourced settings. 7
What you can do
To learn more about World Cancer Day and find some inspiring examples of how you can support World Cancer Day and help to fill the Care Gap visits Take action | World Cancer Day.