Monday 4 February 2013 was World Cancer Day.

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), which is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimates that the annual global figure for cancer fatality is 7.6 million, one-third of which is preventable.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) have previously provided data, which showed that more than 92,000 deaths were caused by mesothelioma between 1994 and 2008, or a global annual figure of 6,000.

According to projected world population and aging figures, 1.5 million lives will be lost to cancer each year by 2025 – or a quarter of an estimated 6 million premature deaths claimed by the disease. The UICC forecast that worldwide, the current fatality rate will double within the next 20 to 40 years. Predicted figures include an estimate of around 100,000 people worldwide, who fall victim each year to asbestosis and mesothelioma.

The UICC also views asbestos as still one of the major cancer-causing dangers in the global workplace. Despite a total ban on the use of all forms of asbestos now implemented in 55 countries around the world, including the UK, US and most members of the European Union, prohibition has never been total.

Over many decades, the international community has been trying to raise asbestos awareness to the long term deadly health risks with main asbestos using countries such as Canada, Russia, China, India and Mexico who are still focused on the desirability of the mineral fibres as an inexpensive and versatile insulation and heat–resistant material.

To mark the day, over 450 events were scheduled in 156 countries around the world, involving major organisations, cancer societies, research institutes and patient groups. A number of events took place around the UK, including London, Leicester, Leeds, Bradford, York and Blackpool.

In November 2013, the NCRI Cancer Conference, a major forum for showcasing the best British and international cancer research, will hold its annual oncology meeting at Liverpool’s BT Centre. Around 2000 attendees are expected, from researchers and clinicians, to data managers, nurses and policymakers.

Major speakers from the UK, US and Canada, will explore issues of basic research into diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and life expectancy including latest studies on tumour metabolism, targeted therapies, radiotherapy, systemic metabolism and cancer.

Click here for more details at the NCRI Cancer Conference website.