Objective To determine if people dying from cancer are able to prolong their own life in order to experience a certain biographical event. Methods We compared numbers of cancer deaths during a period of 1 week before and after birthdays, Christmas, Rose Monday and Easter. As a psychogenic postponement or hastening of death is most likely in chronic diseases, we included cancer deaths only. We estimated relative risks (RRs) with their corresponding Bonferroni corrected CIs. All registered cancer deaths in Germany from 1995 to 2009 were included (3 257 520 individual deaths). Numbers of deaths were corrected for seasonality. Results Considering all cases, there were noticeably more deaths than expected in the week preceding Christmas, leading to an RR of dying after the event of 0.987 (CI 0.978- 0.997). Estimates indicating a hastening of death were consistent over several subgroups. Other occasions showed inconsistent results, especially there was no convincing postponement effect in our data. Conclusions While there is no evidence of different death numbers before and after Easter, Rose Monday and birthdays, the appearance of Christmas increases deaths.