Patients, doctors, families, friends and scientists in countries everywhere will observe World Cancer Day on Thursday, Feb. 4. The campaign, which started in 2000, aims to promote research to cure and prevent the disease, improve treatment and raise awareness. This year's event, as well as those for 2017 and 2018, all share the same theme: "We can. I can."
About 14.5 million Americans who have or had cancer are living today, according to the American Cancer Society and that number is growing. About 1.6 million Americans are diagnosed each year. Globally, 14.1 million people learn they have cancer every year. The most common cancers are lung, breast, bowel and prostate.
While individual cancer strains' mortality rates vary, the five-year survival rate for all U.S. cancer cases diagnosed between 2005 and 2011 was 67 percent. This number has risen more than 19 percentage points since 1977.
World Cancer Day wants to continue shrinking the burden of cancer, according to its website. In keeping with its theme, organizers have suggested certain goals. Collectively, they said "we can" inspire action, create healthy environments, build a quality workforce and shape policy change. Meanwhile, they suggested "I can" understand that early detection saves lives, support others, return to work and make healthy lifestyle choices.
In order to help you spread the inspirational and critical World Cancer Day message, here are some famous quotes about the illness and the international community's efforts to stop it, collected from BrainyQuote and BeSeenGetScreened.com.
"Cancer has taught me a lot of things. Maybe it is the best thing that has happened to me. I can't say right now, but maybe some years down the line, I would realize. When I was taking chemotherapy, there were a lot of elderly patients and that would inspire me. I thought, 'If they can be cured, why can't I be?'" — cricket player Yuvraj Singh
“Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” — journalist John Diamond
"When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight like hell." — cyclist Lance Armstrong
"When you have cancer, it's like you enter a new time zone: the Cancer Zone. Everything in the Tropic of Cancer revolves around your health or your sickness. I didn't want my whole life to revolve around cancer. Life came first; cancer came second." — author Regina Brett
“Cancer affects all of us, whether you’re a daughter, mother, sister, friend, coworker, doctor, or patient.” — actress Jennifer Aniston
"Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul." — basketball coach Jim Valvano
"I believe that we need a moon shot in this country to cure cancer. It's personal. But I know we can do this ... because there are so many breakthroughs just on the horizon in science and medicine, the things that are just about to happen. And we can make them real with an absolute national commitment to end cancer as we know it today." — Vice President Joe Biden
"Cancer affects everyone and it's up to all of us to support the important research that can one day make a much sought-after cure a reality." — model Angie Harmon
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.” — ESPN anchor Stuart Scott