Hello from Lagos, Nigeria, where I’m excited to be participating in Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) World Cancer Day events along with more than 500 Nigerian patients, survivor advocates, health care providers, government officials, students, and parents. I’m honored to be speaking on World Cancer Day at the second annual Omolara Lolaoso lecture on “Understanding and Supporting Cancer Survivorship.” In addition, I’ll be participating in a workshop on February 5 on international collaboration on breast cancer research in Nigeria.
The Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) has partnered with Landers 88, a students’ association of the Maryland Comprehensive Secondary School in Lagos, in organizing the Omolara Jolaoso Memorial lectureship, which was established to immortalize a classmate who died of breast cancer. This event aims to engage the community in the fight against breast cancer in Nigeria, raise the profile of the disease, and advocate for support services that reduce the burden of care on patients and families. The organizers hope to groom citizens of all ages to advocate for adequate funding and improved infrastructure for cancer care, lobby for policy and legislation to guide impactful interventions, and stimulate the interest of the next generation of breast cancer clinicians and researchers in Nigeria.
When I was invited to speak at the Omolara Jolaoso event on World Cancer Day, I could not decline. Through the Women’s Empowerment Cancer Advocacy Network (WE CAN), I strive to support dedicated patient advocates in developing countries as partners in the fight against cancer. In Seattle I serve as Team Physician for Team Survivor Northwest, helping women cancer survivors live healthy, physically active lives. Partnering with Nigerian colleagues in recognizing World Cancer Day and speaking on cancer survivorship seemed like an ideal way for me to contribute to today’s messages.
The activities associated with Nigeria’s World Cancer Day events address so many of the World Cancer Day key messages: inspiring action, taking action, supporting others, shaping policy, mobilizing networks to drive progress, and working together for maximum impact. It’s thrilling to see the partnerships that have come together for World Cancer Day events across the globe. Let’s sustain the momentum throughout the year. Together, WE CAN make a difference!
Dr. Gralow is the Jill Bennett Endowed Professor of Breast Cancer and Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She is a Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Clinical Research Division, and Director of Breast Medical Oncology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She has served on the Cancer.Net Editorial Board and numerous ASCO committees and became a Fellow of ASCO in 2008.
Read more posts in ASCO Connection’s blog series on World Cancer Day:
- World Cancer Day: “We Can” and We Will Make a Difference
- The Janitor Is a Member of the Multidisciplinary Team
- Challenging the Myths About Cancer, Causes, and Care
- Medical Students as Agents of Change
- Creating Healthy Environments in Pursuit of Cancer Prevention
- Preventing Cancer: Genes Do Not Dictate Our Fate
- Work Together for Increased Impact
- We Can Mobilise Our Networks: Approval or Coverage for Oral Cancer Medications in Brazil