2 January 2018

Our CEO, Owen Sharp, shares a moment of reflection this World Cancer Day.

A chance to reflect on the path to progress
Where The Money Goes
On February 4th the Movember Foundation is uniting with our partner, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to mark the world’s collective fight against cancer. World Cancer Day is a moment to step back, reflect upon the challenges we face, and also to take stock of how we are working alongside each other towards the same goal: an end to cancer and the suffering it brings.
The spirit of World Cancer Day is encapsulated in the line ‘We Can. I Can’ which highlights the critical role that collaboration plays in this ambition. This is a time to recognise that, while significant progress can be made by remarkable individuals and institutions, it’s only really through sharing our findings, coordinating efforts, and building together upon the great work that has gone before us that we can make the most significant progress towards our joint objective.
The Movember Foundation is privileged to be partnered with remarkable organisations, researchers, clinicians and other health experts around the world. Yet of equal, if not greater, significance are the voices of the men we serve. Understanding their perspectives and needs is just as critical - if not more so - to all the projects we design and the energy, selflessness and hard-earned wisdom of these men sharing what they know is as inspirational as it is valuable.
Sadly, around 380,000 men will die from prostate cancer in 2018 and millions more are living with the disease around the world. At the current time we still don’t know enough about what treatments work best, in the right context, and for which men. It is absolutely crucial to understand what treatments provide the best results to ensure more men beat the disease, and that more men living with cancer have longer and healthier lives. To do this we need to listen to men, to hear what’s really happening, and time and again men are telling us that their quality of life is absolutely critical too; something that has often been overlooked since it can be easier, as an expert, to observe the challenge of cancer as a technical one rather than the personal one that it is as well.
That is why one of the Movember Foundation’s key priorities at the current time is establishing new registries that gather information on a global scale from tens of thousands of men: about their treatments, their health outcomes, how they are feeling and how their treatments are affecting their lives. These international registries coordinate inputs from dozens of institutions across over 17 countries (and counting) to combine patient-reported data alongside their clinical outcomes. All this data allows patterns to emerge about what works for men, and under what circumstances.
Collaboration of this sort, and data projects by their very nature, may not immediately sound as exciting as pioneering genetics or new drug development, but the potential these registries represent is enormous, because they will provide the evidence needed to transform health practice at national and international levels, thereby benefitting men and their families around the world.
So on a final note of reflection this World Cancer Day, I would like to say a big thank you on behalf of the Movember Foundation to all those we’re working with in this fight. Firstly to our men’s health partners around the world – it is an honour and privilege to be working with you, and we look forward to many shared successes in the future. And secondly to the many men who are selflessly contributing to the collective knowledge about what matters to you, often at a challenging time in your life.
So much is being achieved. So much remains to be done.