Each year on February 4th, cancer fighting organizations and individuals across the globe unite to raise awareness about cancer and to rally people to take action. According to the American Cancer Society, this year it is estimated that 8 million people will die from cancer worldwide.
In the United States, on the eve of World Cancer Day the Empire State Building, the fourth tallest building in New York City, was lit up in orange and blue, the colors of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) which is the organization that organizes the event, to serve as a prominent reminder and call to action.
The hashtags #WorldCancerDay, #FightWorldCancer, and #CancerFilm were popular on social media sites. The American Cancer Society also held a Webcast & Twitter chat with leaders in the Global Health field, including the American Cancer Society's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Otis Brawley and the Society's Senior Vice President for Global Health, Ambassador Sally Cowal. You can access a video of the entire Webchat here.
World Cancer Day events were also held around the world, including in South Africa. Staff with CANSA, the Cancer Association of South Africa, held events on World Cancer Day including lighting candles in honor and recognition of all cancer survivors, fighters, and those who have lost their battle to cancer.
The Irish Cancer Society and Cancer Research U.K. used social media channels to promote World Cancer Day and to raise funds and bring awareness to the signs and symptoms of different types of cancers. In the United Kingdom, the hashtag #WeWillUnite emerged as a way to raise life-saving funds and to rally people to post why they were engaging in the fight against cancer.