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09.03.2015 | International Women's Day 2015
March 8, 2015

On International Women’s Day, the Norwegian Cancer Society,
the Norwegian Breast Cancer Society, PATH and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) call for global solidarity amongst different cancer groups in the fight against breast cancer

Sunday 8 March 2015 – Geneva, Switzerland - On International Women’s Day the Norwegian Cancer Society, the Norwegian Breast Cancer Society, PATH and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) reconfirm commitment to multi-partner efforts to improve the early detection and treatment of breast cancer for women living in rural Peru. The groups also call on cancer societies and their partners around the world to show solidarity in reducing the devastating impact of breast cancer throughout the developing world.

The Norwegian Cancer Society, the Norwegian Breast Cancer Society, PATH and UICC are supporting Peru in addressing the rising incidence and mortality rates (approx. 4,000 and 1,000 respectively in 2012[1]) of breast cancer through the Community-based Programme for Breast Health, Peru project. It is a solidarity action of Norwegian women towards women in rural Peru.  

Dr Diego Venegas from the Ministry of Health of Peru states "The Ministry of Health (MINSA), with support from the support from the Peruvian Cancer Institute (INEN), Social Security and other local institutions, has implemented the Plan Esperanza (Project Hope) with the goal of reducing the inequities among women affected by breast cancer. Our goal is to demonstrate that free access to screening, diagnostic and treatment options can be anchored in existing primary health care services, building on the trust of the community to improve access of these underserved populations to quality, life-saving approaches that are both effective and sustainable.”

The Community-based Programme for Breast Health, Peru project has been rolling-out a community-based early detection and screening programme in the region of La Libertad, complemented by diagnosis and referral to appropriate treatment. Additionally, training was developed to enable district-level physicians to provide follow-up management to patients after treatment, completing the cycle of offering as much care as possible at the health level closest to the woman and her family, while concentrating specialty care at a level where quality and efficiency can be assured.

Dr Ben Anderson, Director of the Breast Health Global Initiative Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UICC Board Member emphasises that this project serves as an excellent model for many countries facing the same challenges in scaling-up access to breast cancer services as Peru. “Not only have we shown that these interventions can be introduced to provide incremental improvements in the quality of services in the communities closed to women in need, we have also strengthened the health system, improving coordination and sharing the load across health care levels so that the specialist cancer centre now focuses more on treating breast cancer patients.”

This project was mainly funded through the efforts of the Norwegian Cancer Society together with the Norwegian Breast Cancer Society. “Our donors from the Norwegian Pink Ribbon breast cancer awareness month activities have supported us in making investments in global initiatives as well as nationally, because Pink Ribbon is about solidarity with sisters with breast cancer globally” states Anne Lise Ryel, CEO of the Norwegian Cancer Society and UICC Board Member. “We do this through UICC and we are so proud of the outputs of our investment of both funds and national expertise in this important model project in Peru. I call on other cancer societies with successful Pink Ribbon campaigns to make similar global commitments so that we can accelerate improving outcomes for breast cancer patients worldwide."

"UICC applauds the recognition of the Norwegian Breast Cancer Society and Norwegian Cancer Society of the role of key research projects in driving a health systems approach to breast cancer in developing countries," adds Dr Anderson. "More importantly, we extend our gratitude to women, many breast cancer patients themselves, in Norway for this clear signal of global solidarity with the women in rural Peru."

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About the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
UICC unites the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, to promote greater equity, and to integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda. UICC is the largest cancer-fighting organisation of its kind, with over 800 member organisations across 155 countries representing the world's major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, treatment centres and patient groups.

UICC is dedicated to continuing to work with world leaders to increase their support for cancer control measures, and encourage accountability for the cancer commitments made in the UN Political Declaration on NCDs. UICC uses key convening opportunities like the World Cancer Leaders' Summit, World Cancer Congress and World Cancer Day for continued focus on:

  • Developing specific time-bound targets and indicators to measure the national implementation of policies and approaches to prevent and control cancer
  • Raising the priority accorded to cancer in the global health and development agenda
  • Promoting a global response to cancer

UICC and its multisectoral partners are committed to encouraging governments to look towards the implementation and scale-up of quality and sustainable programmes that address the global burden of cancer and other NCDs. UICC is also a founding member of the NCD Alliance, a global civil society network that now represents almost 2,000 organisations in 170 countries.
About PATH
PATH is the leader in global health innovation. An international non-profit organisation, PATH saves lives and improves health, especially among women and children. Accelerating innovation across five platforms—vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and system and service innovations—PATH harnesses its entrepreneurial insight, scientific and public health expertise, and passion for health equity.
By mobilising partners around the world, PATH takes innovation to scale, working alongside countries primarily in Africa and Asia to tackle their greatest health needs. With these key partners, PATH delivers measurable results that disrupt the cycle of poor health.
About the Norwegian Cancer Society
The Norwegian Cancer Society (NCS) is a non-profit civil society organisation. NCS is a leader in cancer prevention and control in Norway and internationally. The organisation contributes to targeted efforts in cancer information, prevention, advocacy, research, care, and international cooperation. NCS’s activities are funded thanks to the generous contributions of its members, bequests, and allocations form the national lottery funds.
NCS’s main objectives are to:

  • Contribute to ensure that fewer people develop cancer
  • Contribute to more people surviving cancer
  • Ensure the best quality of life for people affected by cancer


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