McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Debate on battle against cancer to feature Stephen Lewis

By Suzanne Morrison
Published: September 14, 2011
People vs.Cancer logo

It’s The People vs Cancer. Students and other members of the university community are invited to join the battle which will see one in three Canadians face a diagnosis of cancer during their lifetime.

Enlisting support from students who represent the next generation of global health leaders is central to the national speaking tour by The People vs Cancer coming to McMaster University on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

The keynote speaker is Stephen Lewis, former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations and United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, for the session in the Ewart Angus Centre of the Health Sciences Centre, Room 1A1. Talks and dialogue will be held from 4 to 6 p.m.

The event is sponsored by McMaster’s Department of Oncology and the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. The speaking tour is designed to inspire ordinary citizens to shape a new response to cancer by creating a dialogue between young people, business leaders, academics, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government, healthcare practitioners, institutions and healthcare companies.

Drawing on his expertise as a political leader and his experiences transforming HIV/AIDS in Africa, Lewis will share ideas on ways in which change can happen through social action by everyday people. He will challenge Canada’s leaders, universities and students to bring forward the skills, innovation, creativity and leadership required to help significantly reduce cancer rates in one generation.

Other speakers on the panel will be Pat Kelly, CEO, The Campaign to Control Cancer (C2CC); Dr. Joda Kuk, McMaster medical alumnus, radiation oncologist, founder and chair of Road to Care, a Canadian charity helping women with cervical cancer access treatment in Uganda; Dr. Simon Sutcliffe, chair, Canadian Partnerships Against Cancer (CPAC); Dr. Mark Levine, professor and chair, department of oncology, McMaster University, Dr. Bill Evans, president, Juravinski  Hospital and Cancer Centre and regional vice-president, Cancer Care Ontario; John Elliott, senior manager, public policy, Sanofi-Aventis.

In Canada, almost 174,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed and more than 76,000 deaths occurred last year alone. Campaign to Control Cancer officials say cancer rates could be cut in half in one generation by acting on and implementing what is currently known about tobacco control, diet, vulnerable populations and screening.

The People vs. Cancer speaking tour is inspired by the United Nation’s first Global Summit on Non-communicable Diseases (cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease) that will be held in New York September 19 – 20. The speaking tour is organized by The Campaign To Control Cancer (C2CC), a grassroots, non-profit advocacy movement for global cancer control and prevention.

The McMaster session will be followed by similar events at the University of Calgary and Concordia University in Montreal.

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