World Cancer Day

I AM AND I WILL: Together, all of our actions matter. World Cancer Day, 4 February

Together, all of our actions matter.

You can help create a future free of cancer for yourself, your family, and your community.

As researchers have learned about cancer, they’ve found ways to prevent it or catch it early, when it’s easier to treat. And this knowledge is paying off. Cancer rates have dropped every year for the past 20 years.

Still, about 40%external icon of people in the United States will get cancer during their lifetime. As adults, parents, and community leaders, we can all take steps to lower the number of people who will be told they have cancer in the future.

Top Three Things You Can Do to Help Prevent Cancer

Adults
Photo of a young adult man and woman jogging in a city park
  • Quit smoking and stay away from other people’s smoke.
    Tobacco use can cause cancer throughout the body—not just lung cancer.
  • Keep a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
    Overweight and obesity are linked with at least 13 kinds of cancer.
  • Get the cancer screening tests that are right for you.
    Screening tests may find breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers early.
Parents
Photo of a doctor giving a 12-year-old boy an HPV shot
  • Get your kids vaccinated against HPV at age 11 or 12.
    The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine can prevent many cancers later in life.
  • Help your children protect their skin from the sun.
    UV rays from the sun and tanning beds can lead to skin cancer.
  • Make sure your children eat well and stay active.
    Keeping a healthy weight lowers their risk for cancer and other health problems.
Community Leaders
Photo of a woman looking at a website on her tablet. The website says How to Prevent Cancer or Find It Early.

Creating a World Free of Cancer

According to the World Health Organization,external icon as many as half of cancer deaths can be prevented. In fact, the agency has a planexternal icon to try to eliminate deaths from cervical cancer.

We all dream of a world without cancer. What will you do to help make that dream a reality?

More Information

Returning to Health Care After the Pandemic

In the last year, many people stopped going to the doctor because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s still important to get the health care you need.

  • Ask your doctor if you’re due for a cancer screening test. If so, ask how to get it.
  • Know your body. If something doesn’t feel right, call your doctor’s office. You may be able to talk to your doctor online, by phone, or through e-mail.
Page last reviewed: January 21, 2021