World Cancer Day: Celebration of cross-Canada support for modernized cancer strategy

TORONTO, ON (February 4, 2019) –The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) is joining with organizations across the world to mark World Cancer Day 2019 and thanking Canadians for their recent input to modernize the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control (the Strategy).

This year’s World Cancer Day, an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) marks the launch of a new,  three-year campaign, “I Am and I Will”,  offering an empowering call to action that urges personal commitment to cancer control and represents the power of individual action to reduce the impact of cancer for ourselves, the people we love, and the world.

Musicians from around the world are showing their support for this year’s campaign in videos released today. Shawn Mendes, Canadian Grammy-nominated artist, said: “I am Shawn Mendes and I will use my voice for a positive change. Who are you and what will you do this World Cancer Day?”

Cancer remains the leading cause of death in Canada1with one in two Canadians developing cancer in their lifetime.2 Canada has made considerable progress since the Strategy was launched in 2006, but the cancer system faces new and pressing challenges to meet the growing need for cancer services.

The Partnership recently led broad consultations in all provinces and territories, both in-person and online, with the cancer control community, cancer patients and their families, First Nations, Inuit and Métis and the general public in urban and rural communities to explore opportunities to improve how Canada prevents and treats cancer for all and ensure Canada remains a leader in delivering high-quality cancer care.

Nearly 7,500 Canadians provided their advice to the Partnership by taking #30MinutesThatMatter and completing the Choicebook or participating in in-person consultations. The campaign was an example of the World Cancer Day theme of individual action having a larger impact by shaping Canada’s future approach to reducing the burden of cancer.

The initial results of the consultation reaffirm strong support for a pan-Canadian cancer strategy and call for a stronger plan to achieve improved equity, access and integration of patient care throughout the cancer journey. With the information and insight gathered and lessons from international successes, the Partnership will identify key themes from the consultations and priority areas where a Canada-wide strategy will help address the more urgent cancer control issues.

The modernized Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control will be delivered to the federal Minister of Health and Canadians in May 2019. With the shared commitment of all levels of government to meaningful change, the Partnership will translate that Strategy into practice and system delivery change with our partners.


Cindy Morton, CEO, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

“We appreciate the time Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast have given us over the past few months, as we look to modernize the Strategy. It was a historic effort that will have a lasting impact. We are excited to share the modernized Strategy along with the full results of the consultation, our expert advice and international best practices with the Minister of Health and all Canadians.”

About World Cancer Day 2019

World Cancer Day takes place every year on February 4 and is the single initiative that allows the world to unite to raise the profile of cancer in a positive and inspiring way.

Coordinated by UICC, World Cancer Day is this year taking place under the tagline “I Am and I Will” and celebrates the power of individual action to reduce the global burden of cancer. World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what you can do, pledge your support, and take action against cancer.

This year, World Cancer Day will be recognized across Canada with the following landmarks lit in orange and blue on February 4, 2019:

  • Calgary Tower in Calgary, Alberta
  • Canada Place Sails of Light in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario
  • The Forks Winnipeg Sign in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Halifax City Hall in Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • High Level Bridge in Edmonton, Alberta
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Confederation Building in St. John’s, Newfoundland
  • Niagara Falls in Niagara, Ontario
  • Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan

To learn more about World Cancer Day, visit

About the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control

The Strategy serves as an important pan-Canadian framework to tackle difficult-to-solve challenges that require new solutions and to address the needs of diverse populations spread across Canada’s provinces and territories. The Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control is more than a decade old. It was developed to create excellence and efficiencies across provincial and territorial health systems in managing this complex disease with more than 200 types, many risk factors, and continually advancing diagnostic technologies and treatments. Canada’s Minister of Health called for modernizing the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control so that it remains adaptive to, and reflective of, changes in technology and innovation, population demographics, the economy and the political climate.

Learn more about the modernization of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control.

About the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer was created by the federal government in 2006 with funding from Health Canada to work with Canada’s cancer community to reduce the incidence of cancer, lessen the likelihood of Canadians dying from cancer, and enhance the quality of life of those affected by cancer.

This work is guided by the 2006 Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, which was developed by hundreds of healthcare and cancer leaders, patients and advocates. Today there is strong evidence that the Strategy is resulting in concrete and significant action by partners across the country to improve cancer control. Working together over the last decade, Canada has improved cancer survival rates, established screening programs, adopted exciting innovations and emerging research, standardized the collection of patient data and created one of the world’s largest population health databases among many other advances.

For more information visit

About the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

UICC is the largest international cancer-fighting organization, with over 1,000-member organizations across 160 countries representing the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, treatment centres and patient groups. The organization is dedicated to taking the lead in convening, capacity building and advocacy initiatives that unite the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.

UICC and its multi-sectoral partners are committed to encouraging governments to look towards the implementation and scale-up of quality and sustainable programs that address the global burden of cancer and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). UICC is also a founding member of the NCD Alliance, a global civil society network that now represents almost 2,000 organizations in 170 countries.

For more information, please visit:


For further information, please contact:
Nick Williams
Communications Officer, Media Relations, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
416-915-9222, x5799 (office)
647-388-9647 (mobile)


1- Statistics Canada. Leading causes of death, total population, by age group. Available at:
2- Canadian Cancer Society. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2017. Available at: