Multidisciplinary program to provide an “invaluable advantage”

September 26, 2022

5 minute read


Disclosures: Adams does not report any relevant financial information.


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The World Cancer Congress will be held from October 18 to 20 in Geneva.

Healio will be the official media partner of the conference, which will offer a multidisciplinary program highlighting best practices in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.



Chart with quote from Cary Adams, MBA, BSc



The World Cancer Congress is an initiative of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), a 1,200-member organization that aims to unite and support the cancer community to reduce the global burden of cancer, promote equity and ensure that the fight against cancer remains a priority around the globe.

Healio spoke with Cary Adams, MBA, B.Sc. — UICC CEO — on what makes the congress unique, highlights from this year’s program, and how the insights and insights gained by attendees can translate into improved cancer care .

Healio: WHow about encouraging clinicians to attend this year’s World Cancer Congress?

Adam: Some 2,000 people attend the World Cancer Congress from more than 100 countries. Additionally, online registration is available for the first time, and we expect hundreds more from around the world to access the online program and recordings of the face-to-face sessions taking place in Geneva. This is in line with UICC’s long-standing concern for greater equity in health care and the ability for more people to access cancer-related services, information and expertise. In fact, equity is the central theme of the World Cancer Day 2022-2024 campaign — “Closing the Care Gap”.

World Cancer Congress participants represent a wide range of sectors and roles in the health community, ranging from patient advocates and researchers to policy makers and private sector representatives. This unique gathering means clinicians can make incredible connections. They can find out how their colleagues are doing in other parts of the world, share their experience or learn from others, and exchange ideas and solutions to similar challenges.

They will also be exposed to contrasting viewpoints that can deepen their understanding of their own work. Most of us – not just clinicians – also work most of the year in familiar surroundings, and it can be particularly inspiring and rewarding to meet and interact with people working in other fields.

Then, of course, there is a wealth of knowledge to be drawn from the scientific sessions and summaries.

Healio: There are several specific themes for this the convention of the year. Why do you consider these themes so timely and relevant, and how are they reflected in the congress program this year?

Adam: The six main themes that guide the program of the World Cancer Congress are designed to highlight areas where the cancer community is making great progress, progress that benefits the lives of people with cancer – in terms of treatment, as well as quality of life – the innovations that can lead to lower mortality and fewer diagnoses, as well as the many challenges we face and how they can be addressed.

Forty percent of cancers are due to modifiable risk factors such as tobacco, alcohol and poor diet. There is room here for cost-effective action by governments to prevent millions of cancer cases by regulating the consumption of products that contribute to cancer, as well as the industries that market them, often using manipulative tactics. Tobacco control clearly fits into this space, and we have given it particular prominence.

We could also prevent a significant number of cancer-related deaths through vaccination against HPV and hepatitis B, as well as systematic screening for several cancers so that they can be detected earlier. We have several sessions looking at how this plays out in different income contexts.

Indeed, while there are promising advances – such as in vitro diagnostics and multi-cancer screening – that could dramatically improve our ability to detect cancer early, many low-income countries are already struggling to provide basic screening services to their populations. We must ensure that the next decade will see greater—not less—equity in cancer care.

In addition to prevention, the program emphasizes treatment and palliative or supportive care for patients. We look not only at advances that can dramatically improve a person’s chances of surviving cancer and how countries with limited resources can prioritize services to reduce their cancer burden, but also how patients’ lives can be improved. and more comfortable. How to make life with cancer cheaper from a psychological, financial and social point of view?

Finally, we felt it was important to address systemic issues in health systems that can impede the proper delivery of services and, therefore, diminish the impact of policies and programs.

Helio: What aspect of this year’s conference are you most excited about (eg a new type of program, a specific session or speaker, etc.)?

Adam: I must say that above all I am looking forward to welcoming delegates from around the world again at an in-person event, and welcoming them to Geneva, where UICC is headquartered. It’s been a really tough two and a half years for everyone and I’m so excited to see some familiar faces again, as well as some new faces in October!

Otherwise, it is very difficult to single out a specific speaker or session – or even a topic. I would perhaps draw particular attention to our two “great debates”, which offer contrasting points of view on potentially controversial subjects. The first asks if all men and women should get the HPV vaccine to eliminate cervical cancer. The second concerns the right to medical assistance in dying: what does it entail, who can access it in what circumstances, and should it be made available to cancer patients at the end of life?

We also have a session on the Generational Tobacco Ban, which New Zealand was the first to implement earlier this year. The policy aims to allow the next generation to grow up tobacco-free by preventing anyone born after 2008 from buying tobacco products – ever. We are honored to welcome Ayesha Verrall, MP, FRACP, Associate Minister of Health of New Zealand at this session.

Helio: How do you think the lessons learned by attendees at this year’s conference will help them improve the quality of care they provide to their patients?

Adam: I believe the great strength of the World Cancer Congress is the unique opportunities it provides for participants to learn from each other, to be exposed to new ways of addressing common challenges and to generally support each other. on the experience of others. I like to think that everyone will go home with new ideas and renewed energy, which will be invaluable not only to their patients, but also to their colleagues and the healthcare system in which they work.

Helio: Is there anything else about this year’s World Cancer Congress that you think is important to highlight?

Adam: The variety of the program, certainly, with face-to-face and digital components, with all sessions available on demand on the Congress online platform.

And then we create a specific offer and network for leaders of cancer organizations, including CEOs and presidents of cancer leagues, foundations, research institutes, hospitals, agencies the United Nations and the private sector, as well as government officials, including ministries of health. They are offered speaking roles and engagement opportunities, invitations to specific events such as a leaders reception hosted by WHO in its new building, tailored opportunities to connect with each other and Tailor-made sessions covering issues such as the future of global health governance. and the future of health and its implications for cancer control.

Congress registration :

The World Cancer Congress will be held from October 18 to 20 in Geneva. For more information on registration, Click here. Accredited media can register here for on-site or digital presence.

For more information:

Cary Adams, MBA, B.Sc. — born in London — holds an Honors Bachelor of Science in Economics, Computing and Statistics, and a Masters (Honours) in Business Administration. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and has received two honorary doctorates in international relations and health. In 2009, Adams made a career change from managing international businesses in the banking industry to becoming CEO of the Geneva-based Union for International Cancer (UICC). UICC is the largest international non-governmental cancer organization of its kind, with some 1,200 member organizations represented in more than 170 countries.

Ryan H. Bowman