World Cancer Day: “ We Can, I Can” Overcome the Global Challenges of Cancer

World Cancer Day: “ We Can, I Can” Overcome the Global Challenges of Cancer

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FASCO, FACP

Jan 25, 2017

An oft-repeated line in sports is that “there is no ‘I’ in team.” The point, of course, is that each of us on a team contributes to the success of the group, and that a team is much stronger than the strength of its individuals.

It is therefore interesting that the tagline for World Cancer Day 2016-2018 is “We can. I can.” The stated goal is to explore how all participants can contribute to reducing the burden of cancer around the world and this focuses both on teams (“we”) and on individuals (“I”). I would add that the individuals in this case are always contributing to the team’s success!

ASCO is deeply committed to finding solutions to all aspects of this global challenge. From our founding more than 50 years ago through our expansion and growth, we have focused on education, research, and access to quality care—everywhere. Internationally, we have a growing oncology program, following a recent review and strategic plan developed under Dr. Gabriel N. Hortobagyi’s leadership. Our goal is to develop and disseminate the best solutions to curing, managing, and preventing cancer for everyone on earth.

A key aspirational goal of “We can. I can” is the recognition of individual responsibilities and opportunities that are built on the advances we make collectively. How then do we support our colleagues and, indeed, our patients and their families as they try to make progress against cancer both in their own lives and on a global basis? For ASCO, the answer is through our programs and projects.

ASCO’s efforts start with education. We are dedicated to providing much-needed educational support globally and are currently focusing on optimizing our materials and content for the wide range of audiences across specialties, training levels, and geopolitical boundaries. At the same time, we are also dedicated to supporting research and investigators from around the world. We know that a local clinical or basic science investigator can have a profound positive influence on a community and serve as a resource. Supporting investigators and learning from the wide range of local conditions and solutions they develop and study can benefit everyone across the research and care community.

We believe in “We can. I can” and ASCO is a “we” hoping to empower many “I’s”. We could not be more supportive of the Union for International Cancer Control and its very clear message. We thank everyone who engages not only in World Cancer Day but in improving the lives of patients every day of every year. We know we can and we know each of you (the many “I’s”) can help everyone globally continue to make real progress toward overcoming the challenges of cancer.


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