MD Anderson supports World Cancer Day with allies around the globe

In honor of World Cancer Day on Feb. 4, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center calls for health care providers, organizations, governments and individuals to unite in the common goal of eliminating cancer. Driven to accelerate progress toward Making Cancer History®, MD Anderson is proud to support this global effort.

Organized by the Union for International Cancer Control in 2000, World Cancer Day is a global campaign designed to advance cancer awareness and education, and motivate governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease. Using the campaign theme ‘We can. I can,’ the goal of World Cancer Day is to educate and inspire in order to avoid millions of preventable cancer deaths each year.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and estimates that cancer will kill more than 8 million people this year. Further, the number of new cases is expected to rise approximately 70 percent over the next two decades.

“Cancer knows no boundaries,” said Ronald DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “Today, on World Cancer Day, it is a time to unite all people in our goal to end cancer for patients and families.”

‘We can.’: MD Anderson reaffirms its mission to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation and the world

Partnering with hospitals, universities and other health-promoting organizations throughout the world has allowed MD Anderson to expand its efforts worldwide.

“By working with partners around the globe, MD Anderson is sharing knowledge, collaborating on research and helping to deliver high-quality cancer care in order to make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer,” said Oliver Bogler, Ph.D., senior vice president, Academic Affairs. “We have an opportunity as a global community to change the course of this disease.”

MD Anderson Cancer Network™ collaborates with community hospitals and health systems around the globe to provide the highest-quality and most advanced cancer care to patients in the communities in which they live. Additionally,
MD Anderson’s Global Academic Programs manages its Sister Institution Network. The network includes 32 premier academic cancer institutions in 23 countries and supports work in patient care, research, prevention and education initiatives. 

Some of MD Anderson’s global efforts include:

  • Partnering with the Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia of Mexico and the Instituto de Cancerología in Columbia to deliver an anti-tobacco health education program to adolescents.
  • Working with hospitals and the ministries of health in Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Ethiopia in partnership with Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon to help with capacity building in oncology.
  • Providing guidance and planning activities to educate and train health care professionals in Africa. The training takes place in person and remotely via a telementoring program called Project ECHO.

‘I can.’: MD Anderson calls on individuals to take action to reduce their individual cancer risk

Cancer prevention stands as a central component of MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer, with a focus on developing and implementing evidence-based actions in cancer prevention, screening, early detection and survivorship.

According to WHO, at least one-third of all cancers are preventable. Making healthy lifestyle choices, such as abstaining from tobacco, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, avoiding excessive ultraviolet radiation and getting recommended vaccinations, can significantly reduce an individual’s risk of getting many types of cancer.

Regular, recommended cancer screenings also can help to identify pre-cancers or cancers in the earliest stages, when current treatment options are much more successful. Individuals should talk with their doctors to determine which screening exams are needed based on age, gender and personal cancer risk.

“The easiest way to fight cancer is to stop it before it starts,” said DePinho. “World Cancer Day is important because it makes people aware and serves as a catalyst for change and empowerment. Together, we can write cancer into the history books for generations to come.”