February 4, 2020, marked the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day. This global movement was organized and started by six oncologists in 1999 before the start of the new Millennium. Together, they drafted the Charter of Paris Against Cancer, which outlines key issues that would impact cancer. 

The Charter emphasizes that cancer patients need access to quality care and other values for a global impact. These values include more funding for cancer research, increased understanding and creating dignity around all those living with cancer.

With the passing of two decades, we can see the impact these values have had. The medical field continues to make leaps and bounds as new treatments appear. We have gained a greater understanding of the risk factors which has made treating cancer easier. Also, the rise in cancer awareness has reduced the stigma around the disease.

These impacts and more are the impact of the world stepping up to overcome cancer. Even here in Nashville, Tennessee people are more aware and proactive in seeking treatment.

And while World Cancer Day was almost two weeks ago, the commitment to raising awareness continues all year. We invite you to join the cause and commit to grow cancer awareness and increase the impacts of World Cancer Day.

World Cancer Day Theme

Last year, World Cancer Day became more than just a one-day awareness event. World Cancer Day 2019 marked the beginning of the I Am And I Will campaign that will continue until 2021. 

The goal of this simple statement is to create lasting change. I Am And I Will invites individuals to make personal commitments towards cancer awareness. The goal is to empower individuals by showing them the power of one person.

Elements of this theme include:

  • Blue and orange as official colors
  • Two hashtags for social media: #IAmAndIWill and #WorldCancerDay
  • Shareable I Am And I Will videos
  • Celebrity engagements for I Am And I Will

Each of these elements allowed individuals, governments, and organizations the chance to personally participate in World Cancer Day.

Local and Personal Involvement

If you are looking for ways to get involved and support World Cancer Day, the campaign’s website lists many ways you can join in.

Because people all over the world participate in World Cancer Day, the need for translators is immense. The website lists 36 languages and translators who have so far contributed to the campaign. 

The site also features a Map of Activities to help people find local events to get involved in. Also, the site offers opportunities to organize more events. These events happen beyond February 4th to keep the cause moving all year.

If you enjoy social media and want to show your support, you can use the official hashtags for a chance to be featured on the Wall of Support.

Government Involvement 

Governments across the world also got involved. In 2019, 37 cities showed their support by illuminating 55 landmarks in the official blue and orange colors. Some of these landmarks included Niagra Falls in Canada, the Fountain of Four Rivers in Rome, the National Theatre in Lagos, Nigeria, and the Qatar National Convention Center.

Officials from an estimated 62 governments also showed their colors on social media by using the official hashtags.

World Cancer Day Supporters

The organization behind World Cancer Day is the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). Through this event, they involve governments, medical companies, creative agencies, news organizations, local awareness groups, and so many more people. 

The UICC organizes its partners into several groups. Each one is responsible for supporting the campaign in different ways. Including media partners who share the message of awareness in powerful human stories. 

The scope of the campaign is directed by the Advisory Group – a group of 14 organizations dedicated to the fight against cancer. These entities include the American Cancer Society, the Cancer Council of Australia, the China Anti-Cancer Association, and the Qatar Cancer Society.

Common types of Cancer

In order to support the goal of raising awareness for cancer, we feel it is important to share some material about the most common types of cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute and the World Cancer Research Fund, there are more than twenty common cancer types. In order to raise awareness of these, we have provided the following list with each of the most common symptoms. 

Bladder Cancer

  • Abdominal pain
  • Painful or frequent urination
  • Bloody or discolored urine

Breast Cancer

  • Irritation of the skin
  • A lump in the breast
  • Flaking or redness on the breast

Colorectal Cancer

  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Bloody stools
  • Weakness 

Kidney Cancer

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blood when urinating

Cervical Cancer

  • Increased menstrual bleeding
  • Light bleeding after periods
  • Unusual lower back or pelvic pain

Leukemia Cancer

  • Decreased energy
  • Paleness
  • Bruises and bleeding become more common
  • Weak immune system

Liver Cancer

  • Abnormal weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and energy loss

Lung Cancer

  • Persistent coughing
  • Blood after coughing
  • Chest pain

Pancreas Cancer

  • Diabetes problems
  • Abdominal and back pain
  • Yellowy skin or eyes

Prostate Cancer

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling like you need to urinate frequently at night
  • Blood or pain when urinating

Thyroid Cancer

  • Lump or swelling near the Adam’s apple
  • Hoarse voice
  • Discomfort when breathing or swallowing
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Skin Cancer


  • Persistent mouth pain or mouth sores
  • A lump in the cheek
  • Trouble swallowing


  • Constant heartburn or indigestion
  • Irregular and constant vomiting
  • Coughing or hoarseness


  • Pain in the stomach
  • Frequent changes in appetite
  • Weakness and fatigue

Because several of these symptoms might overlap, we recommend discussing any concerns with your doctor. From our combined years of experience in surgical oncology, we know that just because the same cancer type occurs in different people, it does not mean that their cancer treatment should be the same.

Our Commitment to You

When we see patients, we diagnose their individual symptoms. We treat our patients like family because we know how important the right cancer care and treatment is to them. When you visit The Surgical Clinic, our surgical oncologists will answer any questions you have, so you can feel confident as you get the treatment you need. Please give us a call or set up a consultation if you have any questions about cancer treatment.

We have offices and medical centers around Nashville and Davidson County. Not only do we offer

 for cancer, but our vascular surgeons can answer questions about vascular health and vascular surgery. We also offer treatments for blood vessels, carotid arteries, and many other parts of the body. We also have providers for skin surgery like post MOH’s and many other areas.

Finally, in honor of World Cancer Day and the #IAmAndIWill movement, we invite you to share this blog post across social media and with your family and friends. By just talking about cancer and its symptoms you will be a part of changing the world.