Dr. Ben Anderson was invited by Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to join the U.S. delegation to the 58th World Health Assembly in Geneva. Anderson is professor of surgical oncology and director of the Breast Health Center at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He holds a joint appointment in the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division and is chair and director of the Breast Health Global Initiative. Anderson was one of two private-sector advisers invited to join the assembly, which was held May 15-17. Dr. John C. Nelson, president of the American Medical Association, was the other private-sector adviser.
As a member of the delegation, Anderson supported a cancer prevention and control resolution. The resolution is an important first step for greater emphasis on cancer and the importance of national cancer control programs to include strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment, and improvement of the quality of life for people affected by cancer. Such programs can help bridge the gap between knowledge and practice and make the most effective use of available resources — human, technical and financial.