Finding common ground this World Cancer Day

3 February 2021

This World Cancer Day, UICC has asked perfect strangers to engage in open and frank dialogue about cancer in a series of Common Ground conversations.

Ten people from diverse and contrasting backgrounds agreed to meet virtually and ask one another questions about their experiences with cancer.

These insightful and personal one-on-one exchanges bring together a brand ambassador, actor and son of a breast cancer survivor from Brunei with the director of human health at the International Atomic Energy Agency; a specialist in oncology and haematology from Utah, who is also a cancer patient, with a clown artist with RED NOSES who brings emotional relief to patients in Austria; a Lebanese author and motivational speaker as well as leukaemia survivor with a CEO and writer from Rio de Janeiro; a Haitian-US stage IV lung cancer patient and podcaster with a lung cancer specialist and researcher at Roche; and an oncology nurse in Ghana with an executive at Astellas Pharma in charge of patient centricity.

How can we speak to young people about cancer? What recent advances in treatment hold real promise for cancer patients? How do we use the experience with cancer to create positive change? How does surviving cancer change a person’s outlook on life – can someone be grateful for having experienced cancer? How does an oncologist experience living with cancer, how does a cancer patient treat others with cancer? How do we counter the seriousness of cancer with a sense of levity and hope?  

These questions and much more are asked and answered in UICC’s Common Ground conversation series.  The discussions quickly turn into frank exchanges, with each person in turn taking the role of interviewer and interviewee, with a real desire to learn from the other.

In the spirit of the World Cancer Day campaign theme, “I Am and I Will”, these conversations point to the reality that we are all affected by cancer in some way, but also reinforces that every person, whoever we are, can have a real impact. 

Last update: 
Wednesday 3 February 2021