The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be convening a midday event on 4 February 2014 at its headquarters to mark World Cancer Day. Debunk the Myths, the theme of this year's World Cancer Day, aims to encourage greater public discussion of some of the pervasive myths surrounding cancer - that we don't need to talk about it, that there are no symptoms of cancer, that there's nothing we can do about it, or that people don't have the right to cancer care.
The IAEA event, a panel discussion featuring high-level participants from Australia, Costa Rica, Sudan and the United Kingdom, reaffirms the IAEA's commitment to helping Member States combat cancer, and seeks to raise awareness of the cancer related activities the IAEA carries out through technical cooperation projects and coordinated research activities, in partnership with a range of lead organizations in the cancer field.
At the moment, the IAEA is supporting more than 130 technical cooperation projects in cancer diagnosis, management and treatment. IAEA support is helping countries to establish oncology and radiotherapy centres, and is facilitating extensive training for medical and technical staff. The IAEA Programme for Cancer Therapy (PACT) works in collaboration with the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and the Union for International Cancer Control, to help ensure that radiotherapy investments are integrated into a sustainable and comprehensive cancer control approach.
In addition, the IAEA hosts a specialized website, the Human Health Campus, which provides online resources for health professionals. It contains up-to-date material and interactive learning tools on radiotherapy, nuclear medicine, medical physics and nutrition. IAEA-supported coordinated research projects are also supporting cancer research in countries around the world.
Last but not least, the IAEA stresses the importance of the highest level of radiation safety in Member States. To this end, radiotherapy equipment for cancer treatment can only be provided if Member States have a functional national infrastructure for radiation safety, with a strong regulatory and legal system at its core. Here the IAEA also offers essential support to Member States.
The participants in the high-level panel are H.E. Ms. Ana Teresa Dengo, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica; Dr. Hania Morsi Fadl, Founder and Chairman of Khartoum Breast Cancer Centre, Sudan; Professor Ian Olver, Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Council, Australia; and Dr. James F. Cleary, Associate Professor of Medicine, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, United States. The panel will be moderated by Ms. Julie Torode, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the Organization responsible for World Cancer Day.