4 February

World Cancer Day is marked yearly, on February 4 to raise awareness across the world and to stimulate joint action in the fight against the global cancer epidemic.

The “I am and I will” campaign acknowledges that everyone has the capacity to address the cancer burden. The theme promotes how our personal actions can be powerful and impactful while recognizing the extraordinary power of cooperation and collective action. Together our actions matter. We can work together to overcome barriers to early diagnosis, treatment and palliative care and achieve global targets to reduce preventable mortality.

In the efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost focus to a more silent but aggressive fight against cancer, with many patients experiencing disrupting treatment, delayed diagnosis and affected access to medicines. In 2020, 3.5 million people in the European Union were diagnosed with cancer and another 1.3 million people lost their lives to it. Without action to reverse current trends, by 2035 cancer burden is estimated to increase by almost 25% making it the leading cause of death in Europe.

The recently released European Cancer Beating Plan serves as a unique opportunity for the SEEHN Member States to reinforce their national strategic directions on cancer control.

The SEEHN strategic vision and various initiatives as well as a dedicated Regional Health Development Center (RHDC) on NCDs hosted by Montenegro, reflect the strong engagement in addressing the burden of cancer. The SEEHN encourages its Member States to run national awareness campaigns to support cancer prevention, early diagnosis and lifesaving treatments.

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