MD Anderson supports World Cancer Day call for action to end cancer

As an institution devoted to eliminating cancer for patients in Texas, the nation and around the world, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is proud to uphold the mission of World Cancer Day, Feb.4, to unite the global population toward the goal of eradicating the disease.

Established in 2000, the Union for International Cancer Control leads the global World Cancer Day campaign, which aims to save lives by increasing awareness and education about the disease and encouraging action. This year’s theme, ‘I am and I will,’ urges “a personal commitment to reduce the impact of cancer for yourself, your loved ones and the world.”

“Our more than 20,000 cancer fighters will continue to work every day toward our shared goal,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “We know we can make a difference in the fight to end cancer, and we are proud to raise awareness of the disease with hopes of Making Cancer History.”

Partnering with hospitals, universities and other health-promoting organizations has allowed MD Anderson to expand its exceptional patient care, innovative research, quality training and education, and cancer prevention efforts worldwide.

MD Anderson Cancer Network® collaborates with community hospitals and health systems domestically and 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 largest global network of cancer centers working collaboratively to end cancer.

A focus on cancer prevention and early detection can make significant impact

According to the World Health Organization, more than 18 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2018 worldwide, of which nearly 5 million could have been detected sooner and treated more effectively, improving patient survival rates and quality of life.

“World Cancer Day emphasizes the significant opportunity we have to save lives by promoting healthy lifestyles to lower cancer risk, reducing health disparities and detecting cancer earlier through evidence-based screenings,” said Ernest Hawk, M.D., vice president and division head of Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences. “At MD Anderson, we are dedicated to advancing cancer prevention through our research, patient care, education and cancer control activities.”

The Division of Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences drives research that can be translated to programs and clinical care to improve health, lower cancer risk and detect cancer earlier. Through the support of the Duncan Family Institute for Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment and Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer, MD Anderson is conducting innovative research in many areas, such as the molecular pathways driving cancer, novel risk factors associated with cancer development, and interventions to overcome health disparities in the community.

MD Anderson also has one of the oldest and largest prevention research training programs in the country. Through initiatives such as the Cancer Prevention Research Training Program and UHAND Partnership, MD Anderson is committed to promoting multidisciplinary research efforts and training the next generation of clinicians and researchers focused on cancer prevention and control.

To offer evidence-based patient care, the Lyda Hill Cancer Prevention Center offers recommended cancer screenings and a range of services to educate patients about their cancer risk and how to lower it. Making healthy lifestyle choices, including avoiding tobacco, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, getting recommended vaccinations and avoiding excessive ultraviolet radiation, can significantly reduce an individual’s risk of getting many types of cancer.

MD Anderson also is committed to sharing the advances made in cancer prevention and early detection beyond its own walls. The cancer prevention and control platform is accelerating the development, dissemination, and amplification of evidence-based strategies, community services, policy interventions, and knowledge targeting measurable reductions in cancer incidence and mortality at a population level. The platform is part of MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program™, a collaborative effort to accelerate the development of scientific discoveries into clinical advances that save patients' lives.

“Today, on World Cancer Day, is the time to unite all people in our mission,” said Pisters. “Together, we will end cancer.”