WASHINGTON--()--World leaders from governments, cancer organizations and the private sector joined together today for the first Global Women’s Cancer Summit – hosted by Susan G. Komen for the Cure and underwritten by GE healthymagination – to rally around the challenge of reducing the global burden of women’s cancers.
“Above all, it requires working in partnership with leaders from all sectors, and the people ‘in-country’ who implement these programs. When we do this, we can save lives.”
A new effort, “2.5 by 2025,” was unveiled at the Summit and attendees committed to working together to achieve an aspirational goal: to enhance breast cancer outcomes as measured by survival and quality of life for at least 2.5 million women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by the year 2025.
The global burden of women’s cancers is increasing at an alarming rate
Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, opened the event by discussing the alarming rates at which breast cancer incidence and death rates are rising worldwide and the importance of tackling this crisis together.
“We are facing a global cancer tsunami. A radical change in our approach is needed to tackle the challenge of cancer and no single organization can meet this challenge alone. Only by working in partnership and building sustainable programs will we be able to help women all over the world access the health services they need – ultimately helping save lives by catching the disease in earlier stages and facilitating access to timely treatment,” said Brinker.
According to the World Breast Cancer Report 2012 – published by the International Prevention Research Institute and funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure – there will be more than 1.6 million women diagnosed with breast cancer this year, compared to about 641,000 in 1980. Estimates from 2008 from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) predict that in the next decade, more than 17.5 million women around the world will develop breast cancer, and more than 5 million women will die of the disease.
The burden is particularly great in LMICs. According to IARC, by the year 2024, more than 1 million women per year will develop breast cancer in LMICs alone. If no improvements are made, more than 3.6 million women in LMICs will die of breast cancer between 2015 and 2024.
Keynote Address Delivered by Mrs. Laura Bush
A major focus of the Summit was identifying innovative solutions to addressing women’s cancers in LMICs through public-private partnerships. During her keynote address, Former First Lady Mrs. Laura Bush spoke about Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, a public-private partnership that leverages the resources and infrastructure of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to fight women’s cancers in sub-Saharan Africa. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is a partnership between the George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. Department of State, PEPFAR, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
Mrs. Bush also discussed the importance of educating and empowering women to take charge of their health. “Women are increasingly agents of change in our world – acting as advocates for health and education to advance opportunities for themselves and their families. By giving women the tools they need to succeed – such as access to education and healthcare – they not only improve the well-being of their own families, but the stability of their countries as well. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon combines the skills and know-how of the public, private and nonprofit sectors to reduce deaths from women’s cancers and saves lives,” said Bush.
Unveiling the “2.5 by 2025” Global Effort
“2.5 by 2025” challenges the global community to come together to combat the increasing breast cancer burden. The goal includes input from leading experts in the cancer and global health community.
“We’ve made tremendous progress over the last few years in terms of recognizing that breast cancer is a disease that affects people worldwide and we are now able to openly discuss how we combat this disease beyond U.S. borders. The goal of reducing the global breast cancer burden has received enthusiastic support from health experts around the world and I believe this initiative will make a true impact for women,” said Dr. H. Kim Lyerly, George Barth Gellar Professor of Cancer Research at Duke University.
Dr. Ben Anderson, Chair and Director of the Breast Health Global Initiative at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, said the Summit marks the first time that leaders from NGOs, corporations and governments have come together to dramatically step up prevention and early detection strategies for women's cancers on a global scale. "Reaching 2.5 million by 2025 requires educating people and healthcare providers, and expanding access to cancer treatment," he said. "Above all, it requires working in partnership with leaders from all sectors, and the people ‘in-country’ who implement these programs. When we do this, we can save lives."
Key Levers for Reaching “2.5 by 2025”
Discussion at the Summit was centered around key levers needed to create change – leadership and mobilization; innovation, science/research and technology; and program implementation. Participants were asked to imagine how the cancer community can respond to the challenges through partnership for maximum impact.
Panelists discussed the most critical issues facing low- and middle-income countries and the potential for change and creating a better future.
"There are important lessons to learn from our global fight for access to treatment and care for HIV/AIDS. The cost of not recalling our history is too high. We need to apply these lessons immediately to advocate for and implement programs targeting the prevention, care, and treatment for cancer. It is a moral, epidemiological, and economic imperative that we act now – especially given the changing demographic profile showing that people are living longer. Let’s be prepared to work hard together to fight for health equity,” said the Honorable Agnes Binagwaho, M.D., Minister of Health of the Republic of Rwanda.
Attendees of the Summit also learned about the significance of ensuring technology and innovation partners are part of the mix of experts working to combat cervical and breast cancer.
“When you combine innovative ideas that increase access to quality healthcare with advanced cancer detection technologies, you can make an impact on helping doctors improve care. Healthymagination is proud to deploy the solutions and partnerships to fight cancer so that one day cancer can become not only a curable disease but ultimately, a preventable one,” said Sue Siegel, CEO healthymagination, GE.
The third element of the Summit centered on successful strategies to implement global change. This track included a keynote address from Julie L. Gerberding, president of Merck Vaccines and former Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and explored the science of program implementation as a distinct discipline, along with equity and access issues for women’s cancers, the capability and capacity of host governments to deliver services, and the potential to leverage and couple existing delivery platforms.
The Summit concluded with a premiere of “United in Hope: A Global Journey,” a documentary –funded through a partnership agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. – about cervical and breast cancer survivors from around the world, narrated by actress Eva La Rue. Following the viewing, attendees heard from the film’s survivors from Zambia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Mexico about their battles with cancer.
“The emotional stories of women and their families who have been impacted by these diseases need to be heard to help create a sense of urgency that our young girls and women cannot wait,” said Dr. Gerberding. “Especially for cervical cancer, there are proven and effective tools in HPV vaccination and screening that can move us toward a world that is free of this preventable disease. Today is a call to unite under one vision and strong leadership to catapult this effort.”
Speakers, panelists and moderators at the Global Women's Cancer Summit included:
- Benjamin O. Anderson, M.D., F.A.C.S., Chair and Director, Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI); Full Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Professor Surgery and Global Health Medicine, University of Washington Seattle, Washington
- The Honorable Agnes Binagwaho, M.D., Minister of Health of the Republic of Rwanda
- Professor Peter Boyle, Ph.D., President, International Prevention Research Institute and Author of 2012 World Cancer Report
- Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure
- Mrs. Laura Bush, Former First Lady of the United States
- Robert Crone, M.D., President and CEO, Strategy Implemented, Inc. (SI)
- Mark R. Dybul, M.D., Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
- Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., Director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Ronald Garan Jr. (Colonel, USAF, RET.), NASA Astronaut
- Karen A. Gelmon, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., Member, Susan G. Komen Scientific Advisory Board, Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Medical Oncologist, BC Cancer Agency and Senior Scientist and Clinical Leader Experimental Therapeutics Department, BC Cancer Research Centre
- Tom Gentile, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Systems
- Julie L. Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., President, Merck Vaccines and former Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The Honorable Eric P. Goosby, M.D., Ambassador at Large; Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (PEPFAR); Office of Global Health Diplomacy, US Department of State
- The Honourable M. Perry Gomez, M.D., Minister of Health of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
- Mary Gullatte, Ph.D., R.N., A.N.P., B.C., A.O.C.N., F.A.A.N., Vice-President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Emory University Hospital and President, Oncology Nursing Society
- Patricia Hardenbergh, M.D., Medical Director of Radiation Oncology, Shaw Regional Cancer Center and Principal Investigator, Improving Cancer Care Grant
- Judith Hurley, M.D., Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami
- Felicia M. Knaul, M.A., Ph.D, Director, Harvard Global Equity Initiative; Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School; Co-Director, Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries; Founder, Cáncer de mama: Tómatelo a Pecho
- Eva La Rue, National Spokesperson, Beckstrand Cancer Foundation
- Kennedy Lishimpi, M.D., Executive Director, Cancer Diseases Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia
- Silvana Luciani, Advisor, Cancer Prevention and Control, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
- Edmundo C. Mauad, M.D., Ph.D, Director, Barretos Cancer Hospital, Brazil
- Lisa Newman, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S., Professor of Surgery and Director, University of Michigan Breast Cancer Center
- Professor Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, M.D., F.A.C.P., O.O.N., Department of Medicine and Human Genetics, Director, Cancer Risk Clinic, and Associate Dean for Global Health, The University of Chicago
- Shaifali Puri, Executive Director, Scientists Without Borders
- David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, The Carlyle Group
- Anna E. Schmaus-Klughammer, LLB (Hons), CEO, Klughammer, GmbH and President, One World Medical Network
- Mihir Shah, Founder and CEO, UE LifeSciences, Inc.
- Sue Siegel, CEO, healthymagination, GE
- Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D., Chief Medical Editor, NBC News, “Nightly News, TODAY, Rock Center with Brian Williams, and Dateline NBC,” Medical Director, healthymagination, GE, and Co-Founder, Careplanners, Inc.
- Paul Spellman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health and Sciences University
- Lisa Stevens, Ph.D., Deputy Director at Center for Global Health, National Cancer Institute
- Professor Marleen Temmerman, Ob/Gyn, M.P.H, Ph.D., Director of Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization (WHO)
- Julie Torode, Ph.D., Deputy CEO and Director of Advocacy and Programmes, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
- Vivien Tsu, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Director, Reproductive Health, PATH and Affiliate Professor, Epidemiology, University of Washington
Other organizations in attendance included Every Mother Counts, Warner Brothers, United Talent Agency Foundation, Take Part/Participant Media, Avon Foundation for Women, Duke University School of Medicine, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, and Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
The event is viewable via live stream at www.komen.org/GlobalSummit2013 and can be followed on social media via the #GlobalWomen’sCancerSummit hashtag.
In addition to the Summit, Google will conduct an Online World Cancer Day Panel, which will be live streamed from 3-5 p.m. ET on Feb. 4 and will feature several participants from the event. View the Google live stream here – http://www.komen.org/worldcancerday.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. Today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® works to end breast cancer in the U.S. and throughout the world through ground-breaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 30 countries. Visit komen.org. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
About Komen International
Komen is expanding its international footprint in the fight against breast and cervical cancer around the world. Leveraging thirty years of experience, Komen International is working with a full spectrum of partners to build sustainable and scalable models for breast and cervical cancer control in areas of the world where the burden of disease is growing rapidly and resources are scarce. With a clear understanding of the country context and a robust monitoring and evaluation program, Komen International is supporting capacity building efforts through community sensitization, health provider training and education. We are committed to working in collaboration with other cancer organizations, governments, the private sector, investors, civil society and individuals towards the goals of downstaging breast cancer and ending the cervical cancer epidemic, worldwide.
About the George W. Bush Presidential Center
Located in Dallas,Texas on the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU), the George W. Bush Presidential Center includes the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and the action-oriented George W. Bush Institute. The Bush Center will be dedicated on April 25, 2013, and will open to the public on May 1, 2013. For more information, please visit the Bush Center online at www.bushcenter.org, or connect with us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheBushCenter) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/TheBushCenter).
About GE’s healthymagination Initiative
GE healthymagination is about better health for more people. We’ve committed $6 billion to continuously develop and invest in innovations that deliver high-quality, more affordable healthcare to more people around the world. For more information about our healthymagination commitment, visit www.healthymagination.com.
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.