The Summit was an amazing opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas with 500 delegates from 65 countries, including world leaders, government, non government cancer organisations, health professionals, advocates and survivors.
Some inspiring short videos captured the spirit and purpose of the Summit:
Ashleigh Moore from Cancer Voices South Australia was 1 of 7 advocates featured on stage on Day 1 of the Summit, explaining why they signed the World Cancer Declaration. (From left to right: Poonam Bagai (India), Ashleigh Moore (Australia), Princess Nikky Onyeri (Nigeria), Melanie Goldish (United States), Crawford Inglis (Scotland), Prasad Abeysinghe (Sri Lanka) and Pat Garcia-Gonzalez (United States).
Key messages, noted by Cancer Voices SA:
Objectives of the Global Cancer Campaign:
- build an international awareness campaign
- to reduce the stigma of cancer and
- build a grassroots movement to promote this campaign.
The global impact of cancer: Worldwide approximately 12 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed/year. This figure is expected to double in the next few years, particularly in poor countries. The contrast between cancer control challenges in 3rd world vs 1st world countries is stark and sobering.
However, myths, misperceptions and stigma about cancer was highlighted as a world-wide problem. The human impact of stigma - or blame the victim, is not helpful. Hope and empowerment are supports.
Access to healthcare is a major problem; fragmented services with poor coordination of care is also a world-wide problem.
Public policy issues are as significant as medical and treatment issues.
Implement what we know and keep researching what we don't know.
Ensure quality, safety and equity of health services, for rich and poor, whatever the colour of your skin.
Challenge the 'opposition to change' coming from vested interests.
Reframe thinking from an 'illness' focus to a Health and Wellbeing focus.
To 'close the gap between what we know and what we do' and address 'the global burden of cancer', we need
A unified focus on main cancer goals
- focus on cancer 'big issues', not divided over site specific groups, or aspects of cancer
- share prevention approaches and crossover with strategies common to cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity.
- Collaboration is the key.
- Leadership to draw attention to the problem
Understand the challenge for governments to prioritize the allocation of funding for infectious vs chronic/non-communicable diseases, and balance the funding of cancer prevention vs early detection and treatment. (Be concise, coherent - so politicians don’t get confused about what they’re meant to do).
- Partner with leaders including those outside of health eg transport, housing, health infrastructure
- Get better at making the case for cancer with emotional and financial arguments. Cancer is not just a health problem. Highlight the impact on the national economy through loss of productivity (patient, carers), direct and indirect healthcare costs. (Illness is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the USA).
- Be innovative, be creative. People are desensitized to message delivered the same way for so long.
- Work together in ways not done before.
- Share information, share responsibility. Silence kills. We have an ‘Obligation of the cured’ to speak out, speak up.
Dream the 'impossible', use your imagination and implement new ideas.
Cancer Voices Summit Highlights
In Dublin, South Australian Premier Mike Rann invited Cancer Voices SA delegates to brief him on their commitments and the Summit, shortly before he made public the announcement that Lance Armstrong would return to participate in the 2010 Tour Down Under in Adelaide. (Left to right: Ashleigh Moore, Julie Marker, Premier Mike Rann, Sandy Miller).
Cancer Voices SA believe the people affected by cancer must be encouraged, supported and empowererd
- to 'raise a voice',
- to share their experience
- and share their suggestions for a better way forward in cancer control.
Cancer Voices SA are committed to represent, respect and respond to grassroots issues and concerns of those affected by cancer.
We thank the Lance Armstrong Foundation for the opportunity to attend the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit.
If you would like to find out more and get involved in Cancer Voices activities, email [email protected]