Women in Nuclear for World Cancer Day

On the occasion of World Cancer Day (4 Feb), the Be Aware, Show You Care event was held by Women in Nuclear with a hybrid programme on Monday 6 February 2023 at 4pm CET at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

The event was moderated by Margaret Doane the IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Management; Ragdaa Attia IAEA Nuclear Science and Instrumentation Laboratory opened the event featuring the IAEA imPACT programme with Lisa Stevens the IAEA PACT Director for Rays of Hope, followed by WHO Global Breast Cancer initiatives with Ben O. Anderson MD FACS, Cancer Control at WHO, Lisbeth Cordero Mendez Radiation Oncologist IAEA, Sason Feldkamp Hayashi a project manager at Medical University Innsbruck for PRISMAP, Timea Varadi a research scientist from AC²T research GmbH, and Janette Donner WiN IAEA President from the IAEA Department of Safeguards.

One of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals targets for 2030 aims to reduce early deaths from non-communicable diseases, including cancer, by one third. Achieving this ambitious target could result in saving at least 40 million lives from cancer. This, however, requires a concerted effort from a broad range of partners in multiple sectors to considerably scale up resources and establish strong political commitment for an effective global response to cancer.” – IAEA PACT programme

The event focused on the many programmes addressing global cancer care initiatives; the IAEA PACT “Rays of Hope: Cancer care for all” ensures the integration of radiotherapy in comprehensive cancer control and of engaging with other international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) to address cancer control in a comprehensive way. Since then, the Agency has worked closely with WHO, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and many other relevant collaborators to build a coalition of global partners committed to addressing the challenge of cancer in low- and middle-income IAEA Member States. The programme WHO Global Breast Cancer Initiative strives to reduce breast cancer mortality by 2.5 percent per year, which over a 20-year period can save 2.5 million lives. The purpose of this core technical package is to outline a pathway for incremental, sustainable improvements tailored to country-specific needs based on three key strategies and objectives: health promotion for early detection; timely diagnosis; and comprehensive breast cancer management.

Global nuclear medicine programmes were illustrated and PRISMAP was highlighted, which aims to provide access to novel radionuclides and biomedical centres along the translational pathway for the development of radiopharmaceuticals by our starting research community. Gaps to access and availability of nuclear medicine centres and radiopharmaceuticals were identified and a message that a strong coalition of partners is needed to ensure a reliable and robust system for nuclear medicine in disease management of cancer care.

Lastly, the importance of self-care, prevention and early detection, to educate folks to start a dialogue with their healthcare provider was emphasised.

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