I just returned from the Livestrong Global Cancer Summit in Dublin, Ireland hosted by the Lance Armstrong Foundation. It was an amazing experience to gather with 500 delegates from more than 60 countries who are all dedicated to the fight against cancer. Cancer will become the number one cause of death worldwide by 2010. While we are in the midst of a raging health care debate here in the US, it was startling to hear stories from developing countries where people have almost no access to health care, let alone cutting-edge cancer treatment. The stories of suffering were dramatic and helped to put what we do have here in the US in perspective.
I had the chance to present on our Cancer Transitions survivorship program and received tremendous interest from a number of folks around the globe. I realized that in some ways, we are advanced in our conversations about survivorship here in the US – many folks told me they are still catching up on how to meet the needs of patients in active treatment. Discussions about survivorship and the needs of caregivers are not yet at the forefront in many nations.
I hope to keep in touch with many of the wonderful people I met from around the globe to see how we can larn from each other and advance our work.