Dear IGCS Members and Friends,
February 4th is World Cancer Day – a day when the world unites to raise awareness of key issues and build or strengthen coalitions for global cancer control.
This year’s World Cancer Day theme is “Close the Care Gap” with the aim to reduce the equity gap in cancer care and strive for a world where every person has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential without barriers or limitations. World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), an organization in which IGCS proudly holds membership.
Like many of you reading this, I’ve spent years researching gynecologic cancers and caring for patients. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about cancer in some way and ponder how our world can overcome this challenging disease. I’m grateful for all the people that I work with daily who share my passion – everyone on the multidisciplinary cancer care team.
Cancer control, just like cancer care, is very complex with a wide range of professionals and people involved. When caring for individual patients, it is the multidisciplinary team’s purpose to improve coordination, communication, and decision making between health-care team members and patients, and hopefully produce more positive outcomes. Everyone has something valuable to contribute.
Just as we all work together with the patient to arrange their care, we must all work together globally to do our part in reducing inequities in cancer care. When I think of IGCS, I think of our members. Members of all disciplines — gynecologic oncologists and surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, diagnostic imaging specialists, nurses and nurse navigators, pharmacists, genetic counselors, researchers, social workers, and patient advocates.
The beauty of IGCS Membership is that we are all different. We come from different cultures, and we have different economic and social backgrounds. But we are all connected for one purpose — to advance gynecologic cancer care not only where we live but worldwide. And we can do that only by communicating, listening, and learning from one another. This is the only way we will find the solutions we seek.
So, let’s do what we do best. And as IGCS Members, let’s raise the stakes and think of the patients who need us to push forward boldly. As our CEO, Mary Eiken said in her year-end message, let's THINK BIG. Let’s conduct cancer research and think about the design and use of clinical studies. Let’s find ways to get lifesaving drugs to areas that don’t have access. Let’s train and mentor multidisciplinary teams worldwide. Let’s fight for patients and listen to them.
UICC says that 2023 is a year of action. A year for us to unite and build stronger partnerships. We are proud to be an active member of UICC. Tell your colleagues about the IGCS, the UICC, and World Cancer Day. Let them know that just as we work together daily for the care of our patients at home, we are all a part of something bigger here at IGCS.
I always welcome you to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I like hearing from the IGCS members and multidisciplinary team we have built together.
Keiichi Fujiwara, MD, PhD