About WE CAN

Dr. Julie Gralow in Uganda
Dr. Julie Gralow discussing cancer advocacy in Uganda
  • Nearly 2 million women around the world are diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer every year.
  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide, killing more than 450,000 per year.
  • Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) shoulder much of this burden, including more than 55% of the world’s breast cancer deaths and 70% of all cancer deaths.
  • Approximately 60% of breast cancer deaths and 90% of cervical cancer deaths occur in LMIC countries. But according to the American Cancer Society, only 5% of global spending on cancer is aimed at these countries.

WE CAN, the Women’s Empowerment Cancer Advocacy Network, has been a global network for change since 2003. We are headquartered at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), a world-class cancer treatment center that unites doctors from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington School of Medicine (UW Medicine) and Seattle Children’s.

The good news is that a healthy lifestyle and public health actions, including the HPV vaccine, which can prevent 70 percent of cervical cancer cases, have the potential to prevent up to one-third of cancers around the world, according to the World Health Organization. Despite significant obstacles, women’s cancers can become treatable diseases in low and middle resource countries.

We need to take action to bring education and early detection strategies around the world.


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