Women Who Conquer Cancer

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Published: 31 Jan 2023
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Prof Sandra Swain - Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC, USA

Prof Sandra Swain speaks to ecancer at BGICC 2023 about the Women Who Conquer Cancer initiative.

She explains that throughout her own career she saw a lack of representation of women in the oncology field and this lead to the establishment of the foundation.

In the last 10 years, Women Who Conquer Cancer have raised over $7 million and provided roughly 80 grants to young women investigators to help their career developments.

I’ve been very active in the American Society of Clinical Oncology since I was the President of ASCO in 2013. When I was President, I started something – Women Who Conquer Cancer; I’m on the board of the Conquer Cancer Foundation which is the foundation for ASCO. So I really felt like, from a personal point of view, that it was a struggle for me for years being the only woman at the table, really having a different approach to things than men do, that we really need something for women specifically. So I started Women Who Conquer Cancer and in the last ten years we’ve raised over $7 million and given out about eighty grants to young women investigators. I really want to see them… we have so many bright young women, I want to see them really blossom and flourish in their career.

We’ve given these awards out; we’ve given career development awards and then we’ve started a mentorship award for women who have mentored all these women and men throughout their careers. So I’m excited about that. 

ASCO International has been doing some things internationally with women leaders too, specifically in this last year women leaders in oncology, taking about ten or eleven women and guiding them through a nine-month leadership programme. The end of it will be them coming to the ASCO meeting in June.