Women's Cancers in the Americas

Thinking Global and Acting Local for Women’s Breast Cancer:
Engaging Community Health Workers in South Florida.
Felicia Knaul at the 2016 Women's Cancer Symposium

“Closing divides around women´s cancer is a health, equity and economic imperative; affordable and achievable through diagonal approaches.”

Breast and cervical cancer are leading killers of women throughout the world. In most of Latin America and the Caribbean, breast and cervical cancer are among the most common causes of death for younger women. Both diseases are preventable or curable if diagnosed and treated early, yet responses have been fragmented, missing the tremendous opportunities for collective, hemispheric action across countries, disciplines, governmental and non-governmental actors, academia, clinicians and civil society.

Women's Cancers Facts and Statistics

1.7 million

in 2016, breast cancer had 1.7 million incident cases, and caused 535,000 deaths in women and 10,000 deaths in men. For women, breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer death. - Global Burden of Disease 2016 study


Although breast cancer is thought to be a disease of the developed world, almost 50% of breast cancer cases and 58% of deaths occur in less developed countries. - WHO


In 2016, 511,000 women developed cervical cancer worldwide, and it caused 247,000 deaths. Globally, 1 in 75 women developed cervical cancer during a lifetime. - Global Burden of Disease 2016 study


The Framework for Integration

“How to integrate the approaches so the work of these women become more effective and the work of everyone in the health care sector becomes more effective? This is critical and urgent.”


Dr. Ana Langer

Director of the Women and Health Initiative

Harvard University

The Ethical Framework for Health Equity

“…Why isn’t there more of a sense of outrage? (…) One way of thinking about ethics in health towards an integrated approach (…) is to think of the current status as a collective failure on the part of the international community to meet the most basic needs.” 


Dr. Jennifer Prah Ruger

Amartya Sen Professor of Health Equity, Economics and Policy University of Pennsylvania

Building Synergies across Women's Cancers

“Our opportunity here today cannot be overstated. We have highly effective prevention, early detection and treatment tools that have the potential to transform the lives of millions of women, and it is not a health issue, it is an equity issue, it is a human rights issue.” 


Ambassador Sally Cowal

Senior Vice President for Global Health

American Cancer Society

What Role for Academic Medicine and Research?

“Early detection is essential to improving outcome.” 


Dr. Gilberto de Lima Lopes

Associate Director of Global Oncology

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship

“We use a lot of robots here in South Florida. We are not looking to train Caribbean doctors on how to use  robots, because they don’t have any robots in the Caribbean. We are looking to train them in good surgical techniques.”


Dr. Brian Slomovitz

Co-leader of the Gynecologic Cancers Site Disease Group Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

The University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas’ work on women´s cancers in the Americas and this Symposium are the result of visionary seed funding provided by Patti Herbert, B.B.A. ’57 and University of Miami Trustee Allan Herbert, B.B.A. ’55. The Herberts are dedicated long-time supporters and active members of the University of Miami community.