Welcome to the 2023 Global Colorectal Cancer Congress
The Importance of Health Equity in a Globalized World – A Brief Overview of the State of Global Health Disparities
Reducing Colorectal Cancer Mortality – Matching Risk, Resources, and Strategy
Dr. Richard Wender details the changing epidemiology of colorectal cancer over the last 100 years, the factors that have led to these changes, and the lessons that can be learned from the U.S. experience. He also discusses colorectal cancer screening programs and what is required to have one, and the so-called red flag symptoms of colorectal cancer. After reviewing the current landscape of colorectal cancer and health disparities, he talks about how best to move forward in colorectal cancer innovation while still addressing health equity.
From Tissue to Terabytes: The Intersection of Pathology and Data Analytics in Colorectal Cancer
Dr. Phil Quirke discusses the use of data in maximizing the quality of surgical care in colorectal cancer, the resulting reductions in recurrence rate and mortality, and the disparities in receipt of optimal care. Dr. Quirke reviews some recent advances in colorectal cancer care, including the timing of chemotherapy and immunotherapy and deficient mismatch repair. Finally, Dr. Quirke reviews the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the pathology of colorectal cancer, and the need for validation of these A.I. algorithms in diverse populations around the world.
Towards Health Equity: Palliative Care Is a Human Right, the Influence of Policy on Access & Availability and Imperative of the Global Call to Action
Dr. Barbara Hastie focuses on policy frameworks for health equity, using her extensive work in palliative care advocacy and policy as an example. She describes the shocking global health disparities in access to palliative care and essential pain medicines, the complex matrix of factors that affect these health disparities, and policy measures, including a joint call to action from the United Nations, World Health Organization, and International Narcotics Control Board, that are advancing health equity in palliative care.
Applying Innovation and Ethics in the Development and Application of Cancer Biomarkers to Achieve Global Health Equity
Dr. Alex Carlisle introduces cancer biomarkers, including several biomarkers specific to colorectal cancer, and then details the factors contributing to disparities in biomarker testing like lack of diverse representation in biomarker research and social determinants of health. He also addresses the phenomenon of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Dr. Carlisle then talks about the growth of artificial intelligence and machine learning in biomarker discovery and innovation, as well as how these data analytic tools can be used to reduce health disparities by incorporating the complex array of factors that contribute to health inequity.
Strengthening Global Partnerships and Roadmap for the Future – Spotlight on 5 Recipients of CRC Health Equity Grants
Advocates and organizations around the world know what their communities need and already have community relationships and partnerships. However, they may lack the finances to make the most of these resources. Through the CRC Health Equity Grants program, GCCA provides financial assistance to fill specific unmet needs in under-resourced communities. Five inspiring GCCA members share information about their organizations, and detail how the CRC Health Equity Grant is helping them to advance health equity in their communities.
Community Education as a Tool to Improve Colorectal Cancer Survival
Dr. Elmer Huerta discusses community education strategies for cancer prevention and improving colorectal cancer survival worldwide. He details several guiding principles of community education including consistency, building trust, inclusion of a broad range of public health issues, and the use of all media channels available in a community. Dr. Huerta also describes his work with the Cancer Preventorium, a preventive care clinic driven by community education, and supported by patient navigation, including an example of a very successful clinic intervention to increase colorectal cancer screening uptake.
Panel Discussion and Closing Remarks
GCCA’s CEO Andrew Spiegel and Candace Henley, GCCA’s Director of Equity and Partnerships review key takeaways from the presentations. Henley also shares her journey with colorectal cancer and the devastating disparities in care that she experienced. Henley and Spiegel discuss the history behind health disparities, what has led to them, and what perpetuates them today. And they talk about GCCA’s efforts to address these disparities globally.