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Conclusion

WACC International Forum 2011

2011 Fourth WACC International Forum Conclusions

Over 40 patient associations and health organisations were gathered from 36 countries, around 39 different speakers, experts, education and prevention advocates or cancer survivors.

Presentations and discussions led to seven conclusions which were presented May 9 afternoon to the assembly:

  • More room for men: we need to address men as targets at risk of HPV related cancers and as carrier / transmitter (60% vs 30% of women). Beyond the notions of information, education and prevention, the notion of responsibility was raised. - Other HPV related cancers need to be addressed: mouth, throat cancers…including the perspective of US data on (male) throat cancer outnumbering cervical cancer cases by ~10-15 years. 
  • More sexual education or more HPV education in sexual education. 
  • More persuasion in Education. Information without call for action and also “storytelling” (real people’s lives) will not do enough. 
  • More activism. Voices need to be heard. And for this, voices need to be raised. (ie: 2010 theme was focused on taboos, silence and shame) Mobilisation need to be stronger. 
  • We also need to make cervical cancer / HPV cancers at the level of a noble cause to fight for. - In our women empowerment efforts, hard-to-reach population and people in low resource setting need to be included. As well as populations who have no dedicated public health programs set up by their national department of health. 
  • During the forum presentations and discussions, different programs, strategies, surveys and data where presented but all agreed on the absolute need for
    • (patient) education to be including in the cervical cancer prevention and control strategy.
      • Education and communication carried on by a positive approach or outcome (women benefit, healthy life …) or humour,
      • a comprehensive approach (all preventive measures, vaccination and screening)
      • and quite often associated with other issues such as women breast and cervical cancer together ; HPV and STI ; Tobacco, alcohol sex and HPV for youth ; Healthy living, good shape and care for adult women ; etc…
      • and sometimes, more rarely, addressed directly the reasons why not to go for screening (ex: lack of time in a woman’s life) : an angle that need further exploration
    • ambassadors, as spokespersons, role models or relay, at all level - politics, health, culture, youth … may it be in the elite or at grassroot level - including women and cancer survivors telling their stories.

 May 11, 2011

Carole Schaal Cornillet and Dabrowka Franquelin for Women Against Cervical Cancer