Cancer awareness in the general population is an absolute essential and the basis on which a cancer control programme can be constructed. Elements that go into cancer awareness and prevention efforts include knowledge of the problem and its solutions, a group of people who respect and care for the populations they want to serve, and resources. This paper discusses the importance of cancer awareness to cancer control and outlines some successful cancer awareness and control programmes in Africa. There is an audience in North America, Europe and Asia with resources that can be used. Awareness campaigns can also be used to recruit assistance and resources from governments, non-governmental organisations and pharmaceutical companies. Potential funders will provide support if they see a well-defined problem, a solution that is likely to be implemented and likely to work and organisations that can implement that solution.