Photo by Caleb Fisher

As founders of National Cancer Prevention Day (February 4th) and the National Cancer Prevention Workshop (February 6, 2019), we work to end the 50% of preventable cancers often addressed through education and policy. Because of that, I know that our work is especially useful through reaching the most people by effectively teaching the teachers. I also know that an essential piece of that work is letting those in leadership roles in public health to rise to their responsibility and make a difference in public health.

While traditionally we do not think of physicians, nurses, and public health professionals as teachers, in my mind they are the most qualified as they have the scientific and medical backgrounds to educate their patients, patients’ families, and communities. They are well positioned to not come in after the fact with the metaphoric bandaid, but instead through education and community leadership can get ahead of many public health issues, including several types of cancer.

Our organization, incorporated in 2004 as Next Generation Choices Foundation, 501c3, is more widely known as “Less Cancer.” At the time there was nothing with the focus we had to get ahead of cancer by preventing the preventable cancers. At the time it seemed like a ludicrous notion; however, today experts understand that prevention is the best solution for cancer.

This February 6th, “Less Cancer” is producing a major, globally-streamed educational workshop for legislators on Capitol Hill. The National Cancer Prevention Workshop provides continuing medical education credits for physicians, nurses and public health professionals.

Featuring more than 25 cancer prevention speakers in five hours, the Workshop looks at topics such as screening, cancer disparities and inequities, chemicals, and childhood health policy and advocacy.

A highlight of the event will be the presentation of Speaker Awards to Former New Hampshire District 24 House of Representatives Member Mindi Messmer, Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research, Associate Dean for Community Health & Outreach, Professor of Oncology at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center Dr. Lucile Adams-Campbell, and California District 17 U.S. House of Representative Member Ro Khanna.

I am confident in the “Less Cancer” educational platform and the critical leadership we provide in education and policy. We know that cancer deaths are down partially because of prevention strategies. This week on Capitol Hill is all about cancer prevention. National Cancer Prevention Day is February 4th, the United States Bipartisan Congressional Cancer Prevention Caucus is February 5th, and the National Cancer Prevention Workshop is February 6th.