Women's Global Cancer Alliance

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Women’s Global Cancer Alliance?
The Women’s Global Cancer Alliance (WGCA) is an international network of individuals and organizations sharing expertise and a deep concern for women at risk for cancer of the cervix , other gynecological and breast malignancies as well as allied health problems.
  • Where is WGCA’s headquarters located?
The home office is located in Louisville, KY at 2210 Goldsmith Lane, Suite 130, 40222.  Correspondence is handled through PO Box 6957, Louisville, Kentucky, 40206.
  • What is the purpose of the WGCA?
Its purpose is to advance women’s health, most notably cancer related issues, in developing countries.  It is dedicated to addressing barriers women face in receiving preventive screening, early detection and/or cancer treatment in their local communities.
  • What are WGCA’s values?
At its core, the WGCA exists to serve the healthcare needs of women in developing countries and treat those it serves as we would like to be treated.  The WGCA believes that mutual respect, careful listening and collaboration require: developing trust among its members and those it serves; taking thoughtful risks to serve women under difficult circumstances; timely exchange of ideas and information; investing in local knowledge; and being innovative in addressing issues.
  • Why cancer in women?
Approximately 85% of global cervical cancer mortality occurs in women living in developing countries under conditions of poverty.  Cancer in women is often overlooked and neglected where poverty is rampant.   Many women never reach a center capable of treating their disease in time for treatment to be successful.  The WGCA is dedicated to lessening the suffering and limiting the number of women’s lives lost from cancer in developing nations.
  • Why are so few women screened for cancer?
Poverty, health inequity arising from different social economic circumstances, lack of education and health services all serve as primary reasons why so few women are screened for cancer.  The problem is further complicated by geographic isolation in rural areas.
  • What country is considered to have the highest incidence of cancer of the cervix in the world?
Haiti – one of the poorest nations in the world – at an annual incidence rate of 93 new cases / 100,000 people.
  • What is the key to eliminating cancer of the cervix in developing countries?
The key to eliminating cancer of the cervix is to vaccinate girls before they become sexually active.  HPV vaccine administered at an early age can save numbers of lives for decades to come.  Cancer of the cervix should eventually become a “rare disease” as a result of the introduction of the vaccine.  In the meantime, all women should be screened and treated for early evidence of precancerous changes by the ‘see and treat’ method.
  • What is considered to be the best current method of screening and treating pre-cancer of the cervix?
Many women in developing countries are beyond the age when vaccination is effective.  In the interim before HPV vaccine becomes more widely available to all, single visit screen and freeze programs are most effective.  Screening occurs through visualizing the cervix with acetic acid (VIA).  In developing countries, household vinegar is applied to the cervix as a substitute for acetic acid. Precancerous lesions, detected colposcopically, are treated by freezing the cervix with cryosurgery.  Early intervention through see and treat screening is highly effective in preventing invasive cancer of the cervix.
  • Does the WGCA train local personnel?
There are 3 billion people in the world today without access to health care services.  In turn, there is a shortage of healthcare providers-current estimates show that 4 million additional providers are needed. The WGCA sets up small group and one-on-one training sessions for physicians, midwives, nurses and community health workers to educate them in raising awareness, promoting public education, technical skills and cancer prevention at the community level.
  • What role do community healthcare workers (CHW) play?
One solution to addressing women’s health is by engaging local people living and working in their own communities as community health workers.  Community Health Workers (CHW) are particularly important in their role as patient navigators and educators, allowing communities to determine their own priorities, procedures and protocols.
  • How does the WGCA function?
It functions through partnerships between individuals and organizations with overlapping interest and goals. Our programs focus on    raising cancer awareness, promoting public education, prevention through screening and cancer care. We do this by deepening our knowledge of local practices through exchange of ideas and best practices.
  • How is WGCA’s agenda defined?
WGCA’s agenda is defined by our belief that all cancer is local.  The agenda is defined by the differences patterns of cancer care exist in each local community.
  • Does the WGCA support UICC’s World Cancer Declaration?
Yes.  The World Cancer Declaration (WCD), a program originating with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), is a tool used to bring the growing cancer crisis to the attention of government leaders and healthcare policy-makers in order to reduce the global burden by 2020. UICC’s mission is to eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease for future   generations.  Partnership is the key to the framework of the WCD.  It   encourages achieving 11 Declaration targets locally, nationally, regionally, and globally.  The 11 targets may be found at        www.uicc.org/signdeclaration.
  • Does the WGCA support the United Nations Millennium Development Goals?
Yes.  The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) are 8 international development goals that member nations and international organizations have agreed to achieve by 2015.  They include eradicating extreme poverty, fighting disease epidemics such as HIV/AIDS and developing a global partnership for development.  The WGCA acknowledges that the MDG does not specifically mention cancer as one of their goals.  The 8 goals may be found at www.un.org/milleniumgoals
  • How does the WGCA raise money?
The WGCA raises money through donations  There are many ways to contribute.
  • How can I make a donation to the WGCA?
You can make a donation online through WGCA’s website at www.womensgca.org/why-help/donate-now/.   You may also contribute by     contacting the WGCA office directly at PO Box 6957, Louisville, Kentucky 40206 or by calling 502-727-6963.
  • Does the WGCA accept credit card donations online?
Yes.  You can make a donation online by credit card through our website.
  • Can I make a donation to the WGCA in memory of someone who died of cancer?
Yes. When making a donation online, under Payment Information, there is a box which allows you to enter the name of the person you wish to remember. These names are logged in a Book of Honor kept in WGCA’s home office.
  • How does one become an Ambassador of the WGCA?
The WGCA recognizes those who contribute in a special and unique way to its mission.  Becoming an Ambassador is the first step of four Impact Cancer Awards granted by the WGCA.  To be named an Ambassador, one must volunteer 3 months in a developing country serving, studying, teaching and contributing to solving women’s cancer issues and/or contribute $1000 or more to the WGCA.
  • What does the WGCA logo represent?
The figure of a women’s head represents the universal presence of cancer in women.  The globe represents our goal of conquering women’s cancer worldwide.  Impact Cancer is a tagline which guides the WGCA and the public towards meeting its goal in developing countries.

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