Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer

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Sandra M. Swain, MD

One of the pleasures during my year as President was the ability to bring personal and professional passions and a sense of what really matters into focus for the work of our membership. My Presidential theme, Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer, reflected my particular interest in outreach to partners and possibilities that lie beyond the work of our daily practices. 

This is an extraordinary time in oncology, one in which we will gain new knowledge to empower us to deliver the best outcomes for our patients. An explosion of new data comes weekly. The digital age is changing our world at a rapid pace, democratizing both information and education. There has never been more opportunity and there has never been a greater need to collaborate to achieve our common goal of conquering cancer. During my Presidency I focused on three things: the possibilities and promise of global health equity; the need to strengthen future generations of leaders and practitioners; and the vision for a rapid learning system in oncology.

The solutions for all have at their core the need for connection. Success is made possible by collective effort, by neighbor helping neighbor, and by learning from those who have gone before us. Nowhere is this truer than in oncology. The promise of science, the power of technology, and the strength of an increasingly global community can be leveraged to produce a world free from the fear of cancer.

Clearly, there is no shortage of challenges deserving our attention. The three issues I mentioned earlier: advancing global health equity; mentoring the next generation of leaders; and the implementation of a rapid learning system, still belong squarely on our radar screens. ■

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