The biennial meeting of the Union for International Cancer Control, the World Cancer Congress, was held from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Paris and attracted participants from around the world, including cancer control experts, practitioners, and advocates. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest information in cancer control as well as effective interventions for cancer prevention, diagnosis and care, and supportive and palliative care.
During the meeting, Jill Reedy, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., discussed dietary patterns to support policy for cancer control. Reedy noted that a dietary pattern that achieves a high diet quality index score was associated with lower risk of mortality in men and women in the United States, which was consistent across cohorts and indices.
“Following recommendations for healthy eating was found to be associated with reduced mortality. These healthy eating recommendations had similar results, whether defined by U.S. dietary guidelines, Harvard’s healthy eating, Mediterranean diet, or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating plan,” Reedy said. “Efforts to standardize, harmonize, and synthesize the growing literature related to dietary patterns and cancer is critical.”
In addition, during the meeting, Celina Schocken, of the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon in Washington, D.C., provided insight into a global collaboration on cervical cancer prevention. The Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is a public-private partnership founded by the Bush Institute, UNAIDS, PEPFAR, and Susan G. Komen. Cervical cancer is one of the leading cancers and most common causes of cancer death among Sub-Saharan African women. The public-private partnership has made progress within Africa in providing vaccinations, screenings, and treatment.
“There is very high stigma for women’s cancers in Africa, both among the general population and even among health workers. Public-private partnerships present huge opportunities for increased impact and results. While there is not enough screening for cervical cancer in Africa, there are opportunities, particularly around integration with HIV/AIDS and reproductive health services,” Schocken said. “We need to put new innovative technologies into use. Current methods of screening and treatment for cervical pre-cancer work, but will not allow us to go to scale. We need new technologies that are cheaper, more effective, and easier to use in order to go to scale.”
Lucy Davies, Ph.D., of Cancer Research UK, discussed creating new research opportunities in cancer prevention. The Cancer Research UK/Bupa Foundation Cancer Prevention Initiative is accelerating behavioral research and policy research to improve cancer prevention.
The presentation involved the discussion of descriptive case studies and audience participation, with participants sharing experiences of developing and implementing the four key pillars of the initiative, which include leadership, action, innovation, and sustainability.
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