World Cancer Day 2014

Each year on 4 February, WHO and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) supports Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer.

This feature story about Meena in South-East Asia highlights how early diagnosis and treatment can save lives.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 2011 -- Breast cancer is currently the top cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and the developing world. The majority of breast cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, where most of the women are diagnosed in late stages due mainly to lack of awareness and barriers to access to health services.

Global status report on NCDs

April 2011 -- Noncommunicable diseases are the leading killer today and are on the increase. WHO Global status report on noncommunicable diseases confirms that 36.1 million people died from NCDs in 2008. The report provides a baseline for future monitoring of NCD-related trends and for assessing the progress that countries are making to address the epidemic.


fact buffet

8.2 millionpeople worldwide died from cancer in 2012.

Globocan 2012, IARC

60% of world’s total new annual cases occur in Africa, Asia and Central and South America.

Key facts about cancer

30%of cancers could be prevented.

Read the fact file about cancer

About the Cancer Control Programme

The key mission of WHO Cancer Control Programme is to promote national cancer control policies plans and programmes, integrated to noncommunicable diseases and other related problems. Our core functions are to set norms and standards, promote surveillance, encourage evidence based prevention, early detection, treatment and palliative tailored to the different socioeconomic settings.

What is cancer?

Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms.
One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs. This process is referred to as metastasis. Metastases are the major cause of death from cancer.

Contact us

World Health Organization
Cancer Control Programme
Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion (CHP)
Avenue Appia 20
CH - 1211 Geneva 27