RTI International hosts symposium to accelerate cancer prevention in India

Two-day event will bring together leading experts to address the burdens of breast, oral and cervical cancers in India

Experts participate in an RTI International symposium on cancer in India

NEW DELHI, India— RTI International and the American Cancer Society are co-hosting a symposium to address the burden of cancers in India at the Metropolitan Hotel in New Delhi, Feb. 19-20.

The two-day symposium, titled "Cancer Prevention in India: Catalyzing Action and Enhancing Implementation," will be the first event to bring diverse stakeholders including clinicians, advocacy groups, public health program implementers and policy makers together to discuss prevention and control of breast, oral and cervical cancers in India. The symposium aims to facilitate knowledge exchange and identification of practical, evidence-based solutions to cancer prevention challenges at the governmental, health systems and civil society levels in India and other low-and middle-income countries. 

About 13 percent of the global burden of cancers – about 1 million new cases and more than 700,000 deaths – occur in India alone. A third of the cancer burden is attributable to oral, breast and cervical cancers.

"Accelerating cancer prevention is critical to improving health outcomes in India," said Suneeta Krishnan, Ph.D., India country director for RTI. "The common cancers in India have feasible, effective and cost-effective prevention, early detection and treatment methods, but limited access to and availability of cancer screening and treatment services, along with lack of awareness, fear and stigma, currently delay diagnoses and lead to poor outcomes."

In addition to RTI and American Cancer Society, the symposium is hosted by the Public Health Foundation of India, Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology, and Harvard Global Equity Initiative. 

C K Mishra, additional secretary and mission director, National Health Mission to Government of India will speak about the experiences of India's National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases, Stroke. R Sankaranarayanan, M.D., special advisor on Cancer Control and head of the Section on Cancer Early Detection and Prevention, International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO-IARC) in Lyon, France will offer an analysis of cancer prevention efforts in India and other low- and middle-income countries, and Ambassador Sally Cowal, senior vice president of Global Health, American Cancer Society, will speak about mobilizing local action for global change.

The conference will feature a series of sessions focused on two main themes: strategic communication for cancer prevention, and effective delivery of prevention, early detection, and treatment linkages. The sessions aim to identify policy, advocacy and implementation-focused research priorities and collaborations to strengthen cancer prevention efforts, not only in India but globally.

Participate in the conversation by using and following #ActNowIndia on Twitter.