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World Cancer Day Event Explores Sports Role in the Fight Against Cancer

January 29, 2021 

In recognition of World Cancer Day (February 4), and February being Black History Month and Cancer Prevention Month in the US, the American Cancer Society and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will host, "Game Changer: Intercepting Cancer." The virtual event will explore the unique role of sports in the fight for a world without cancer and the global health inequities impacting cancer survival. 

Taking place Friday, February 4 from 1-2pm ET, the program will feature sports leaders and a medical expert panel on Global Cancer Prevention through the Lens of Health Equity. Panelists will discuss their cancer connection, healthy lifestyles, prevention and scientific and community needs for quality access to care. They will also explore barriers to accessing treatments to identify pressure points in equal care and how to remove them. Professional athletes and medical experts representing communities in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia will take part and Nobel Laureate, Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD will close out the event. 

With moderation by FOX Sports Senior Correspondent, Pam Oliver, panelists representing the sport sector include: NBA legend and Global Humanitarian, Dikembe Mutombo, NFL head coach of the Washington Football Team and cancer patient, Ron Rivera, and four-time Olympian and breast cancer survivor, Chaunté Lowe. The hour long event will feature personal stories and discussion on the need for early detection screenings, access to quality treatment and survivorship. 

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“The event was inspired by the American Cancer Society’s passion for health equity and our Crucial Catch partnership with the NFL, which addresses the unequal burden of cancer in underserved communities by expanding access to screening resources," said Sherri Barros, Strategic Director of Global Sports Alliances for American Cancer Society.

"Because the American Cancer Society works to address barriers to cancer prevention and treatment globally and sports leaders like Dikembe Mutombo also play a critical role in this work, we decided to highlight sports’ role in the global fight against cancer inequities.” 

According to the Zhu Family Centre for Global Cancer Prevention, behavioral and environmental changes could cause cancer incidences to rise as much as 57% over the next two decades. Current research also suggests that almost half of all cancer cases are preventable and early detection has the greatest potential to save lives. 

This year's World Cancer Day theme is ‘I Am, and I Will’, which is inclusive of a 3-year campaign for impact that includes global awareness, impact-driven action and more exposure and engagement of the issues at hand. 

2021 will be the ultimate year of this campaign, and according to the World Cancer Day organization, “this year is a reminder of the enduring power of cooperation and collective action. When we choose to come together, we can achieve what we all wish for: a healthier, brighter world without cancer.” 

Registration is free. Click here to take part

Beyond Sport is a proud promotional partner of this event alongside the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, NFL Crucial Catch and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center: Center for Cancer Equity and Engagement. 

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