World Cancer Day is the only international day dedicated to cancer and a unique opportunity to raise our collective voices against this global epidemic. Given the World Health Organization’s alarming projection that the global number of deaths from cancer will increase by nearly 80% by 2030, there is an urgent need to foster dialogue about cancer.
The theme of this year’s World Cancer Day "Debunk the Myths" - an effort to dispel damaging myths – gave us a chance to reflect on where there is still more to do, increase public knowledge about the disease and challenge the related myths or oversimplified stories. As one said once: silence is toxic.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s mission is to eliminate cancer through education for students, professionals, employees and the public, as well as through integration of patient care, research and prevention.
MD Anderson President Dr. Ronald DePinho states: “As leaders in cancer care, we are compelled to establish a sustainable response to this global health priority. We all have a collective and individual responsibility, as everyone can play a role in tackling the cancer burden.
“We are therefore keen to support the efforts of our partner the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) – and custodian of World Cancer Day – joining today’s movement to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage individuals, cancer experts and policy makers around the world to make the difference on the ground.”
“At MD Anderson, we have chosen to partner with UICC, and to support countries that are facing the cancer epidemic with insufficient resources.
UICC will collaborate with MD Anderson and its global network of 27 sister institutions to work with ministries of health in Sub Saharan African countries to develop programs for training health care professionals in cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and patient care.
“Our focus will be on human resource planning for scale up to population–based district and national models,” DePinho said.
This marks the beginning of MD Anderson and its global network of sister institutions joining hands with UICC and its supporters to build capacity for cancer care in Africa.”