Share this

Celebrating 20 years of World Cancer Day

Celebrating 20 years of World Cancer Day

4th February 2020

World Cancer Day 2020 takes place on Tuesday 4 February. Since creation of this international campaign in February 2000, progress is evident in many areas - increased political will, technological advancements, research breakthroughs, and greater public understanding of cancer.

However there is still much more to be done, and 2020 marks the midway point of the 3-year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign - an empowering multi-year campaign built to resonate, inspire change and create long-lasting impact.

In Scotland, it is estimated that two out of five people will develop cancer in their lifetime. It remains a national clinical priority for the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland, and a combination of population-based screening programmes, earlier detection, better diagnostic methods and advances in treatments, mean more people in Scotland are surviving cancer than ever before.

The cancer strategy Beating Cancer: Ambition and Action (2016), was published in 2016 and set out a series of priorities including actions to:

  • embed research in the ethos of our healthcare services
  • give individuals access to, and opportunity to participate in, clinical trials appropriate to their circumstances
  • support a clear programme of research targeted at improving outcomes and/or experiences of cancer.

Through investments in the NHS Research Scotland infrastructure, a coordinated network of clinical research expertise, data safe havens and accredited tissue biorepositories facilitate recruitment to cancer studies and the use of tissue and health data in cancer research.

The NRS cancer network is funded by the Scottish Government to support clinical research as an integrated part of cancer care in Scotland. The network is responsible for driving research in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Last year 474 studies were active in Scotland with over 3000 patients taking part. Encouraging engagement and involvement in research helps facilitate the evaluation and introduction of new cancer medicines and modes of treatments for patients; and over the last year:

This presents a small snapshot of investments and advances in cancer trials in Scotland. Professor David Cameron, NRS Cancer Research Champion, Professor of Oncology, University of Edinburgh, Director of Cancer Services, NHS Lothian and recently appointed chair of the Breast International Group, comments:

“Research is critical to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.  Scotland has great expertise in cancer research and strategic investments in genomics and precision medicine provide new opportunities for cutting-edge research. 

“Our strong infrastructure, unified health system, e-health records and strong record of collaboration maximise Scotland’s potential as a destination for world-leading clinical research.

“This, in turn, increases opportunities for patients to participate in trials and benefit from the improved results that will bring.”

People can contribute to the success of World Cancer Day. Every post, share or tweet helps raise the profile of cancer in people’s minds, in the world’s media and on the global health and development agenda – use #WorldCancerDay #IAmAndIWill.

For more information visit

Go back to News