Highlights from the Inaugural Susan G. Komen Global Women’s Cancer Summit

Susan G. Komen for the Cure was honored to welcome leading members of the global health care community to Washington, DC on February 4 for our Global Women’s Cancer Summit.  We convened representatives from cancer organizations, governments, civil society and the private sector from around the world to address the current state of women’s cancer, something Susan G. Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker called a “global cancer tsunami.” Responding to this alarming growth of cancer in developing countries, we issued a call to action to improve survival outcome as measured by improved survival and quality of life for at least 2.5 million women facing breast cancer in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs) by the year 2025—“2.5 by 2025” and we were overwhelmed by those in attendance ready to join our fight.

Former first lady Laura Bush was the day’s keynote speaker, emphasizing the need for innovative solutions to help us attain the goal by 2025. She focused heavily on the success of the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) initiative, a public-private partnership that leverages the resources and infrastructure of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to fight women’s cancers in sub-Saharan Africa. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is a partnership between the George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. Department of State, PEPFAR, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. You can read her speech here.

The Summit coincided with two additional noteworthy dates in the world of women’s health: World Cancer Day and the release of the World Breast Cancer Report 2012.

In honor of World Cancer Day, Google+ hosted a chat and live video broadcast to dispel the many myths surrounding cancer, such as the widespread perception that cancer is always a death sentence.  Komen was fortunate to have several speakers from the Summit participate in this Google+ chat, including Dr. Ben Anderson, chair and director of the Breast Health Global Initiative at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center;  Eva LaRue, actress and advocate; and Dr. Julie Torode, deputy CEO at the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

Present to discuss the newly published Report was the main author of the study, Dr. Peter Boyle, president of the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France. The study found that there are more deaths from cancer in LMICs even though the rate of incidence is twice as high in high-income countries. CNN has further coverage of this report, co-published by Komen.

The Summit concluded with a premiere of “United in Hope: A Global Journey,” a documentary funded through a partnership agreement with  Merck & Co., Inc. about cervical and breast cancer survivors from around the world, narrated by actress Eva La Rue.  Following the viewing, attendees watched as the film’s survivors from Zambia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Mexico were joined on stage by  three American survivors, Sonia Briseno, Marian Sparks and Alantheia Pena.

We invite you to watch and share the short film here.

We’re grateful for GE for so generously underwriting the Susan G. Komen Global Women’s Cancer (?) Summit. Tom Gentile, president and CEO of GE Healthcare Systems, talks more about the Summit and our partnership in this blog post here.

For other speeches from the day-long event, please visit our YouTube page. Click here for a complete list of the day’s other speakers and check out pics from the event in the slideshow below.

About the author

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Susan G. Komen has written 280 articles for Susan G. Komen® | Blog

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.