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Launch of 4P-CAN’s Cancer TIE begins with Cancer Prevention Barriers and Healthy Behaviour Adherence

(Invited speakers at 4P-CAN’s Cancer TIE launch on 30 April 2024 with ECHAlliance: Andy Bleaden from ECHAlliance, Marius Geanta from the Centre for Innovation Medicine and Coordinator of the 4P-CAN project, Carolina Espina from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Ariadna Feliu from IARC/WHO, Hannatu Ayuba from the National Hospital Abuja, and Berna Koçar from BUHASDER, along with Ashish Basuray, Chief Operating Officer of Oatmeal Health.)

In a concerted effort to tackle the challenges posed by cancer, 4P-CAN proudly inaugurated the Cancer Thematic Innovation Ecosystem (TIE) initiative with ECHAlliance – The Global Health Connector, dedicated to unravelling the intricacies of Cancer Prevention Barriers and Healthy Behavior Adherence. The virtual event, held on 30th April 2024, brought together a consortium of esteemed professionals and organizations, united in their mission to combat cancer through proactive measures.

Setting the Scene: Why Primary Prevention of Cancer Matters?

The event commenced with compelling insights from Marius Geanta, President and Co-Founder of the Centre for Innovation Medicine and Coordinator of the 4P-CAN project, who underscored the pivotal role of primary prevention of cancer, emphasizing the imperative of early intervention. 

Accelerating Innovation: Creating Oncology-Focused Living Labs

A highlight of the event was the discussion on accelerating innovation by establishing Living Labs in Romania and Bulgaria. Marius Geanta expounded on the Romania (Arges) Living Lab, a pioneering initiative engaging several stakeholders at the local level. The lab’s primary objective? To serve as a crucible for innovation, fostering collaboration and community engagement to address the multifaceted challenges of cancer prevention.

Understanding Barriers: Perspectives from Around the Globe

The event offered a view of the barriers to cancer prevention and healthy behaviour adherence across continents:

Latin America & the Caribbean: Carolina Espina, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), unveiled projections for 2045, painting a stark picture of the escalating burden of cancer in the region. Her elucidation on the Latin American and Caribbean Code Against Cancer underscored the urgent need for concerted action to avert preventable deaths.

Europe: Ariadna Feliu also from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO) delved into a qualitative study for the European Code Against Cancer, offering profound insights into the barriers and facilitators encountered by EU citizens. Her emphasis on perceived barriers and actionable strategies illuminated the path toward effective cancer prevention initiatives.

Nigeria: Hannatu Ayuba (Senior Registrar in Radiation and Clinical Oncology from the National Hospital of Abuja) shared Nigeria’s efforts to overcome barriers through strategic public policies and mass media campaigns.

She emphasized the significance of public health policies in combating cancer, highlighting Nigeria’s successful strategies such as increasing taxes on tobacco products and implementing mass media warnings as some examples. Hannatu provided vivid examples from Nigeria, illustrating the effectiveness of these measures, particularly in addressing excessive alcohol consumption, which remains prevalent, with 9% of the population exhibiting harmful alcohol use. 

Turkey: Berna Koçar (International Projects Coordinator, BUHASDER) highlighted the organisation’s focus on vulnerable populations such as women, youth, immigration groups, and prisoners, collaborating internationally to address infectious disease burdens. She outlined barriers to cancer prevention, including limited awareness, socioeconomic disparities, cultural norms, and infectious diseases

 citing examples of preventive measures like vaccination and screening. Berna stressed Turkey’s importance in global health initiatives and shared their experience in empowering vulnerable communities through awareness campaigns, screening, and policy advocacy efforts.

Solutions in Action: Innovations for Cancer Screening and Early Diagnosis

We also heard from Ashish Basuray, Chief Operating Officer of Oatmeal Health, unveiling groundbreaking solutions for cancer screening and early diagnosis. His visionary approach, centred on patient empowerment and misinformation mitigation, heralded a new era of proactive healthcare delivery.

If you missed the event and would like to watch the recording click here.

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