PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Marking this year's World Cancer Day observation February 4(th), Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) has joined with an international network of cancer care providers and advocates to raise awareness of the disease and to encourage individuals and governments around the world to take action against it.
"Until cancer awareness is improved globally and actions are taken to prevent and treat the disease, millions of people around the world will die unnecessarily every year," said Varian CEO Dow Wilson, noting that according to the UN International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 8.2 million cancer related deaths were reported in 2012. "The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that the global number of deaths from cancer will increase by nearly 80% by 2030. That is unacceptable. Empowering people with all of the tools, knowledge and resources available is crucial in waging a successful fight against cancer."
Varian is a proud supporter of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), which coordinates events for World Cancer day. This year Varian has asked its 6,400 employees to sign the UICC's Declaration Against Cancer, which calls upon government leaders and health policy-makers to significantly reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.
As a company dedicated to helping save millions of lives around the world every year, Varian has launched a promotional campaign to acknowledge World Cancer Day and encourage participation. Elements of the campaign include the prominent placement of information on the Varian.com home page and linking to a landing page that invites cancer patients and the medical community to sign the UICC Declaration Against Cancer. Visitors can view a video from Wilson sharing his perspective and support for the UICC and for World Cancer Day. Varian is also sending daily tweets about World Cancer Day through February 4th and urging every visitor and Varian employee to use their social networks through Twitter and Facebook to retweet World Cancer Day messages.
Noting that World Cancer Day's 2014 theme has to do with debunking myths about cancer, Wilson said, "At the most basic level, I think we can help debunk the myth that patients are powerless against a cancer diagnosis. Information and preventive care are the best weapons in this battle, but innovation in cancer treatment has made incredible strides and consumers need to be aware of all their options when discussing treatment with their physicians. "
Wilson pointed out that roughly one-third of cancer deaths can be avoided through education, the dispelling of myths and misconceptions and addressing some of the known risk factors, for example, tobacco, overuse of alcohol, poor diet and physical inactivity, sun and UV exposure.
Varian has been a longtime supporter of programs that help patients become well informed about their treatment options.
"Perceptions of radiation therapy must catch up with advances made in the delivery of treatment as technology has ushered in a new era of devices delivering high precision radiation beams that minimize damage to healthy tissue and improve outcomes in the treatment of many different types of cancers," said Dee Khuntia, Varian's vice president for medical affairs. "For example, noninvasive radiosurgery, once considered primarily a treatment of last resort for inoperable tumors, has advanced to the point where it is now recognized as a non-invasive option that often yields curative effects for patients with cancer. That is valuable information to a cancer patient weighing treatment options."
Varian is committed to ongoing dialogue, education and advocacy to ensure all cancer patients and their families have a complete understanding of the technologies and treatments available.
About Varian Medical Systems
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes and digital detectors for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies X-ray imaging products for cargo screening and industrial inspection. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,400 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and 72 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.
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SOURCE Varian Medical Systems