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World Cancer Day is an annual campaign by the Union for International Cancer Control. It was created on 4 February 2000 to help unite the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, and advocate for equal access to life-saving cancer diagnosis, treatment and care. The 2021 campaign theme is ‘I Am and I Will. Together, all of our actions matter.’

Pain is a common symptom among cancer survivors. Up to 40% of survivors experience pain, while at least 66% of individuals with advanced progressive cancer experience disabling pain. Research suggests that cancer pain is poorly controlled in a substantial number of individuals.


In addition to consulting on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan in 2020, the European Pain Federation EFIC has also endorsed a Joint Statement by the European Patient Cancer Coalition to call on EU policymakers to prioritise cancer-related complications and comorbidities. See the statement in full here.
For more information on EFIC and cancer pain, please see the following resources:
  1. Read the EFIC position paper on cancer pain: Standards for the management of cancer‐related pain across Europe: A position paper from the EFIC Task Force on Cancer Pain
  2. Read the SIP position paper on cancer pain here
  3. Read up on the 10 standards published by the European Pain Federation to improve cancer pain management across Europe. These standards recommend:
  • Routine pain assessment at healthcare encounters,
  • A tailored multimodal pain management plan which is reviewed where necessary,
  • Self-management advice and support,
  • Specialist referral if pain is not improving or medicines are creating intolerable side effects,
  • Ongoing education and training for healthcare professionals who treat cancer,
  • Monitoring of service outcomes,
  • And national guidelines for cancer-related pain.

Adoption of the 10 standards across Europe will promote the quality of care of patients with cancer‐related pain and reduce unnecessary suffering. 

To access detailed information about cancer, please visit the World Cancer website at