A theme calling for action
UICC was pleased this year to continue building on the World Cancer Congress's growth as the leading international conference for cancer control experts, practitioners, and advocates to share the latest information on global advances in cancer control.
This year's conference theme was Joining Forces: Accelerating Progress. It emphasised the impact that can be realised by consistently and energetically applying what we know, rather than waiting for possible future "breakthroughs" to change the landscape. This has been discussed across a variety of economic and cultural contexts, and participants will leave with an increased understanding of successful interventions in prevention, diagnosis and care, and supportive and palliative care. They also had the opportunity to meet with others who had similar issues to their own, and to understand how system organisation can provide the optimum conditions for success in reducing the burden of cancer.
The Congress programme has been built with UICC's members and partners contributions that have been made through the online call for sessions. The appointed Congress Programme Committee has proceed to a review and adjustments of all submitted proposals, so they were of global interest and aligned with UICC's purpose and the four programme tracks, outlined below.
A number of threads have also been running throughout the four tracks, including a large emphasis on advocacy.
Please find the Programme by track here below:
The standard definition of primary and secondary prevention sets the scope for this track, methods targetting behavioural risk factors as well as underlying factors such as social and economic disadvantage will be explored in these sessions. Tobacco control is a vital and specialised aspect of cancer control, and is an established field with knowledge and experience that can be transferred to other risk factors. Including tobacco control in a broader sense will facilitate an important exchange between participants with the goal of improving prevention outcomes for all risk factors.
Who should attend? Professionals in cancer control, research and programme implementation who wish to expand their knowledge on new prevention and early detection strategies.
This track includes proven medical treatment of the disease in the context of a desire to provide active treatment and comprehensive care for those affected by cancer, including measures to improve side-effects of treatment, psychosocial assessment and support and rehabilitation. There are also unprecedented scientific and clinical advances in the understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. In high-resource context, careful consideration needs to be given to how to prioritise the new diagnostic tests and treatments.
Who should attend? Individuals engaged in cancer care including researchers, healthcare professionals, volunteers, patient support teams, advocacy groups, cancer networks and survivors.
This track will explore in depth what ‘survivorship’ means to people affected by cancer, what they want and need, how the health system can meet those needs, and what survivors themselves can contribute. As over one third of patients die within 5 years of a diagnosis (even in the most advanced health systems), dying, and humane methods to ease the psychological and physical burden of impending death will be explored, as will the challenges (and benefits) of an early introduction of palliative care into the patient’s journey. In terms of equity, giving palliation and pain control importance helps address the inequity arising in resource-constrained countries where end of life interventions are often all that can be offered.
Who should attend? Professionals and volunteers engaged in palliative care, symptom and pain control.
Emphasising systems solutions builds upon the theme of the 2010 Congress -‘Systems to make it happen’ - and is a priority for those who wish to make an impact at a community level to improve the access to care. A broad definition of the term ‘system’ will be used to allow for the discussion of issues, and solutions for improving national, regional and local health systems. Surveillance systems, including cancer registries, and population risk factor monitoring will be a key focus, as will how to advocate for the cancer cause, creating an infrastructure around fundraising and the distribution of resources.
Who should attend? Cancer control researchers and programme implementers. Professionals and volunteers, engaged in programme monitoring and evaluation, fundraising, advocacy, policy work or governance will also find value in attending.