An international movement to control the burden of cancer is gaining momentum, and Canada’s cancer control community is making important contributions.
In November 2009, representatives of more than 80 countries came together at the third International Cancer Control Congress in Italy. The ICCC focuses on international collaboration to achieve population-based cancer control.
“A national cancer program can only be effective in lowering cancer incidence and improving the lives of cancer patients if it takes into account a country’s unique context and resources. At the same time, there is much we can learn from each other’s experiences,” says Dr. Simon Sutcliffe. Dr. Sutcliffe is Chair of both the Congress’s International Steering and Scientific Committees, as well as Chair of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s Board of Directors.
By sharing what is working well – and not so well – and by collaborating across borders, we can further cancer control at home, as well as internationally.”— Dr. Simon Sutcliffe
Representatives from the Partnership played key roles at the meeting. Joining Dr. Sutcliffe on the Congress’s Steering and Scientific Committees was Dr. Jon Kerner, Chair of the Partnership’s Primary Prevention Action Group.
Dr. Kerner helped facilitate a number of key plenary discussions. He shared his insight into the role of research in guiding effective prevention strategies, as well as his thoughts on how discoveries are moved into policy and practice.
Dr. Heather Bryant, the Partnership’s Vice-President of Cancer Control, presented a number of abstracts. One of her presentations focused on ensuring that cancer control planning is grounded in both scientific evidence and best-available knowledge so that progress can be measured. Other Partnership representatives also attended, presenting abstracts and participating in workshops.
“The Congress equips leaders from around the world to champion cancer control within their own communities,” says Dr. Sutcliffe. “Importantly, we were inspired toward a shared vision for cancer control – one that calls for a sustained commitment over the long term. Canada’s cancer control strategy ensures that we are on the right path toward reducing the burden of cancer.”
The next ICCC is scheduled for 2011.