World Cancer Congress 2018: Global leaders come together to fight cancer

October 3, 2018

At the recent World Cancer Leader’s Summit (WCLS) in Kuala Lumpur, global health leaders from across UN agencies, the non-profit and private sectors, and academia came together to discuss calls to action in increasing access to, and investment in, and affordable cancer services to improve early detection, treatment, care, and public health data.

With new data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimating 18.1 million new cancer cases diagnosed and 9.6 million cancer deaths in 2018, countries are not on target to reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), like cancer, by 25% by 2025 as discussed at the World Health Organisation in 2013, thus informing the need for imperative global action.

Commenting on the situation, UICC President, Professor Sanchia Aranda, said “Cancer is not just a health concern, but also a serious threat to development. The growing burden has clear implications for patients, their families, and health systems, but also for the economic growth of a country as a whole.”

Following from last week’s global review of progress at the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, this year’s WCLS urges governments to demonstrate leadership by turning their support for the Union for International Cancer Control’s ‘Treatment for All’ campaign into action to improve cancer outcomes.

In her keynote speech, UICC President-elect, HRH Princess Dina Mired, urged for strategic national plans and champions for cancer control to implement measures for the treatment of all patients, regardless of class or status.

In conjunction with the World Cancer Congress (WCC) 2018, the WCLS is a global high-level policy meeting dedicated exclusively to furthering global cancer control. It brought together 350 leaders in the field from around the world including, Ministers of Health, non-profit executives, high-level representatives from the WHO, the World Bank, the IAEA, the IARC, the Joint Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), as well as representatives from the public and private sector.

Held from 1-4 October 2018 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the WCC will be attended by approximately 3,000 cancer control and public health experts from 150 countries to share knowledge and practices in the global fight against cancer. This is the first time WCC is taking place in Southeast Asia.

Organised by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), and hosted by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM), the congress themed ‘Strengthen, Inspire, Deliver’, will feature multidisciplinary plenary discussions, networking and social events, debates, and master courses with the aim to strengthen participants’ understanding of the current state of cancer control globally and how to accelerate progress at the national and regional level.

For the first time ever, WCC introduced the UICC Awards, which aimed to recognise outstanding leadership and innovative practices from across the UICC membership in supporting greater access to cancer services around the world. UICC members will be awarded for their exceptional contributions in the categories of Advocacy with Impact, Fundraising, Collaboration, CEO, and World Cancer Day Spirit.

“We’re very excited to be recognising our members for their fantastic work at the national and local level to help increase access to cancer services for everyone,” said Professor Aranda.
“We know that it is only through the kind collaboration and best practice sharing that we see here during the World Cancer Congress that our members can continue to do the crucial work they carry out every day in supporting patients, their families, local communities, healthcare systems, and societies overall.”

Also happening was the UICC General Assembly, where the new UICC Board of Directors were elected for the next two years to serve alongside the incoming UICC President HRH Princess Dina Mired who will commence her Presidency on 4th October.

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