We in the international cancer community frequently focus on the daunting statistics and significant challenges that cancer professionals and our patients face every day: limited resources, late diagnoses, high mortality rates, and rising cancer incidence, particularly in settings that can least afford cancer care.
This is a reality, and we must engage this reality. But we must do so with the knowledge that we can and we will make a difference. “We Can” and “I Can” are the simple but incredibly powerful messages that the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) has selected for this year’s World Cancer Day.
ASCO could not be more supportive of UICC’s unequivocal message. Indeed, more than 50 years ago, seven physicians came together to found our Society precisely because they shared a firm belief that advances could be made, cure rates improved, lives could be saved. Positive thinking resides in the very DNA of our organization, and runs through all of our educational and policy initiatives, our efforts to reduce disparities internationally through ASCO International, and the many ways our Conquer Cancer Foundation is working to “create a world free from the fear of cancer”.
I strongly encourage you to heed UICC’s call and visit the UICC website for specific themes. These are too numerous to list all here, but include many where ASCO and its nearly 40,000 members are particularly active: “prevent cancer,” “challenge perceptions,” “improve access to cancer care,” “build a quality cancer workforce,” “understand that early detection saves lives,” and “mobilize networks to drive progress.”
Thank you to all of you who drive progress in these areas each and every day. Let’s strive to support the UICC vision not only on World Cancer Day, but on every day of the year.
Read more posts in ASCO Connection’s blog series on World Cancer Day:
- The Janitor Is a Member of the Multidisciplinary Team
- Challenging the Myths About Cancer, Causes, and Care
- Medical Students as Agents of Change
- Hello from Lagos, Nigeria
- 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