SOURCE: Lance Armstrong Foundation

March 11, 2010 12:55 ET

LIVESTRONG® Global Cancer Campaign Launches in South Africa

Lance Armstrong Visits Cancer Survivors at Groote Schuur Hospital and Raises Awareness for the Global Fight Against Cancer by Participating in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - March 11, 2010) -  Today, Lance Armstrong, LIVESTRONG founder and chairman and champion cyclist, launched the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign in South Africa with a visit to fellow cancer survivors at Cape Town's Groote Schuur Hospital. The Campaign's work in South Africa will focus on partnering with local patient and cancer advocacy groups to end the stigma of cancer and turn cancer victims into cancer survivors.

"Cancer is currently one of the most preventable and curable of the major life-threatening diseases. But research shows that many of the 12 million people who will be diagnosed with cancer this year will hide their diagnosis, will be isolated by their communities, will be pushed out of family and social circles and will face a lonely and painful fight for their lives," said Armstrong.

"This stigma leads to a lack of early detection, failure to seek treatment and an increase in cancer mortality. We must put an end to the suffering caused by stigma."

Over the course of this year, LIVESTRONG will launch two major efforts to fight cancer in South Africa:

  • A nationwide initiative to reduce the stigma associated with cancer and raise awareness of the tragic toll the disease takes throughout the world. By partnering with local cancer organizations and encouraging survivors to tell their stories, LIVESTRONG -- in conjunction with its accomplished South African partners -- will offer the knowledge and resources they need to successfully confront fears and misconceptions.
  • Patient empowerment initiative, in collaboration with the American Cancer Society and outstanding local organizations, will bring together decision makers, clinicians, media, advocates and patients to work towards a system of care that puts the patient first. This effort will turn statistics into stories, bring visibility to gaps in cancer control and highlight the need for cancer to be a stronger priority on a country's health agenda.

In conjunction with Armstrong's participation in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour on Sun., Mar. 14 and the Campaign's stop in South Africa, LIVESTRONG will have a stand at the Cape Argus Expo, Mar. 11-13, at the Good Hope Centre. Race participants and spectators are encouraged to stop by the stand (#151) to learn more information about the work LIVESTRONG is doing in the fight against cancer and how they can get involved. On Fri., Mar. 12 at 5pm visitors to the LIVESTRONG stand will have the chance to meet Armstrong's teammate on Team RadioShack and native South African, cyclist Daryl Impey. On race day, participants and spectators are encouraged to wear yellow in support of the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign and are invited to gather at the LIVESTRONG Power Zone, a one kilometer stretch located at the Suikerbossie, and at the LIVESTRONG Grand Stand at the finish line.

"LIVESTRONG is grateful to the Cycle Tour Trust for its support of our global efforts to fight cancer at the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour," said Armstrong. "Their generous support serves as a great example of the worldwide enthusiasm to conquer this disease and encourages an international audience to join the LIVESTRONG cause."

LIVESTRONG selected South Africa as a target country for its collaborative work to combat stigma because research revealed:

  • South Africa has both a significant cancer burden and significant level of stigma.
    • Between 1993 and 2005, deaths due to all cancers in women in South Africa increased by more than 80%
    • Between 1993 and 2005, deaths due to all cancers in men in South Africa increased by 45%
    • Rates of cervical cancer incidence in South Africa are among the highest on the continent.
  • Great work is already being done by South African cancer groups and LIVESTRONG has established robust relationships with key partners.
    • The LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign received 11 commitments to cancer control from 10 different South African cancer organizations: The Breast Health Foundation (BHF), BreastSens, Campaigning for Cancer, The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), CHOC - Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa, Cause Marketing Fundraisers, Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA), People Living With Cancer, Reach for Recovery South Africa and South African Medical Research Council.

About the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign
Cancer is projected to become the leading cause of death worldwide this year. Without global action, these numbers could triple by 2030. But LIVESTRONG is taking action to reverse this trend.

In September 2008, Lance Armstrong announced LIVESTRONG's commitment to making cancer a global priority at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York. LIVESTRONG made this commitment after its worldwide research, conducted over 18 months, revealed widespread misconceptions, stigma and lack of awareness associated with cancer and recognized an immediate need to address this global epidemic. In response, the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign was established.

In 2009, LIVESTRONG launched the first-ever unified global movement against cancer by urging world leaders, leading cancer organizations and cancer survivors to join its effort. After traveling to Australia, Mexico, Italy, Monaco, France and Ireland in its inaugural year, the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign achieved significant results generating more than 300 commitments to the fight against cancer. These commitments represent work in more than 60 countries around the world and an investment in cancer control of more than $200 million in year one alone. 

In 2010, LIVESTRONG is continuing its trail-blazing efforts to reduce the burden of cancer by tackling the stigma that surrounds the disease.

About LIVESTRONG
Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong and based in Austin, Texas, LIVESTRONG fights for the 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. LIVESTRONG connects individuals to the support they need, leverages funding and resources to spur innovation and engages communities and leaders to drive social change. Known for the iconic yellow wristband, LIVESTRONG's mission is to inspire and empower anyone affected by cancer. For more information visit www.LIVESTRONG.org.

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