MD Anderson honors World Cancer Day, reinforces commitment to cancer care, prevention, research and education

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center celebrates World Cancer Day, Feb. 4, in honor of the global initiative to end cancer.

World Cancer Day is organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), a partnership comprising more than 1,100 organizations from more than 170 countries. Created in 2000, World Cancer Day raises awareness for cancer issues and showcases efforts from individuals, communities, organizations and governments in the fight against cancer. This year’s theme focuses on ensuring equitable access to cutting-edge cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

“On World Cancer Day – and every day – we are proud to unite with our global community to work toward our ultimate goal to end cancer,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “In order to fulfill our bold mission and to make the greatest degree of impact on the most people, we are committed to advancing excellence in patient care, research, education and prevention.”

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, with one in six people dying from the disease. Further, between 30% and 50% of cancers are considered preventable by avoiding known cancer risk factors and engaging in evidence-based prevention strategies.

As part of MD Anderson’s commitment to help the patients and communities we serve, the institution launched Be Well™ Acres Homes, uniting more than 30 organizations, alongside community members, to promote wellness and reduce the risk for cancer and other chronic diseases. The initiative is part of MD Anderson’s Be Well Communities™ model, a place-based strategy that narrows the gap between known cancer prevention tactics and successful implementation.

Be Well Acres Homes will apply evidence-based initiatives within the northwest Houston community to promote physical activity, healthy eating and other behaviors that can have a direct impact on health and cancer prevention. Additional support for Be Well Acres Homes is provided by a $1 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to The University of Texas Foundation.

“Cancer prevention is the backbone of our efforts to end cancer around the world,” said Ernest Hawk, M.D., vice president and division head of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. “Ultimately, we aim to provide all individuals and communities with the knowledge, strategies and early detection services necessary to avoid the burden of preventable cancers.”

Since its founding more than 80 years ago, MD Anderson has set the standard in cancer patient care, research, prevention and education. In 2021, the institution served more than 174,000 patients, conducted 1,600 clinical trials, provided more than 34,000 prevention-focused appointments and enrolled 4,846 students and fellows in training programs. The institution remains dedicated to Making Cancer History®.