Diversity and inclusion strengthen everything we do

From fostering an inclusive and supportive culture to working with diverse suppliers, diversity and inclusion are integral to helping us better serve patients

September 20, 2023

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As MSD’s chief diversity officer, Celeste Warren strives to ensure that our policies and practices provide an equal opportunity for all so that our workforce reflects the diversity of the world.

“This enables us to better understand the needs of the patients, health care providers and customers we serve,” said Warren.

And that means embedding a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion at every level of the organization, a commitment that’s central to our business growth as well as to our employees’ well-being.

While our strategic approach to building a diverse, inclusive and positive environment is part of the work we do every day, we also dedicate a full month to fostering meaningful discussions and learning. Making September Global Diversity & Inclusion (GD&I) Experience Month allows us to pause, reflect and celebrate all our important work and identify new opportunities for growth.

Prioritizing diversity and inclusion benefits employees and our business

Since our first GD&I Experience Month in 2015, we’ve made a lot of progress on our diversity and inclusion efforts in our workplace, including:

  • Strong membership growth across our 10 employee business resource groups (EBRGs), with approximately 21,500 employees who belong to EBRGs.
  • Launch of an internal Ally Resource Center to provide access to resources and educational materials to support each employee’s D&I learning journey.
  • Establishment of an internal Ally Ambassador Program to create a network of D&I leaders who provide resources, share knowledge and facilitate conversations to embed a culture of belonging, allyship for all, and psychological safety across our organization.
  • Development of an integrated disability inclusion strategy to create a disability-confident workplace culture where people with disabilities feel accepted, connected and can contribute to our purpose of using the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world.

“Building and enriching our diverse and inclusive environment involves everyone.”

  • Celeste Warren
    Vice president of global diversity and inclusion

“When every single employee embraces a welcoming mindset and can fully appreciate the experiences of others, then better discussions, decisions and outcomes will follow,” said Warren.

This approach also applies to how we do business, as we continue building momentum in a variety of priority areas, such as our work to:

  • Increase diversity in our clinical trials.
  • Ensure our marketing and commercial strategies are relevant to our diverse patients around the globe.
  • Provide opportunities to diverse suppliers in sourcing products and services.

“While we celebrate all we’ve accomplished and what makes us unique during GD&I Experience Month, we know we have more work to do,” said Warren. “We’ll continue to share best practices with other organizations, listen for new ideas, debate points of view and create environmental, cultural and business change to break down barriers and become better allies, role models, colleagues and citizens.”

Health awareness

Measles: symptoms and signs

Learn more about what the measles virus is and how measles spreads

September 20, 2023

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Read the Spanish version – Sarampión: síntomas y signos

what is measles illustration

What is measles?

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the mucus of the nose and throat of an infected person. Symptoms appear 10 to 12 days after contact with the virus.

Common measles symptoms include:

common measles symptoms

How measles spreads

Is measles airborne?

The measles virus can live for up to 2 hours in an airspace where an infected person coughed or sneezed.

What is the measles transmission rate?

If one person has measles, up to 90% of at-risk people close to that person will also become infected.

How long is measles contagious?

Infected people can spread measles to others 4 days before through 4 days after the rash appears.

How long is the measles incubation period?

After being exposed to the measles virus, it can incubate for up to 21 days.

Does measles cause complications?

Measles can cause serious health complications, including ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, and encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain), impacting the daily lives of patients and their caretakers (e.g., can result in lost work time or missed school days).

Measles can be serious and lead to complications 

  • Measles can cause serious health complications, affecting several organ systems such as ears, eyes leading to blindness, gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system including inflammation of the brain and death.
  • Approximately 30 percent of reported measles cases have one or more complications, such as encephalitis or pneumonia.
  • Approximately 567 people die globally from measles-related complications each day, that equates to 24 deaths every hour.

Understanding measles outbreaks


Between 2000-2018, annual reported measles deaths decreased by 73% globally.


The number of measles cases increased 659% in 2019 (874,304 cases) compared to 2016 (132,490 cases)


Natural disaster and/or conflict can put countries at greater risk for deadly measles outbreaks by damaging health infrastructure, interrupting health services and placing people in overcrowded residential camps.

Before the introduction of a measles vaccine in 1963, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths annually.

149 countries reported 874,304 measles cases globally in 2019

global map with measles cases

World Health Organization (WHO) member states reported more measles cases in 2019 than in any single year since 1996.

In 2020, the number of globally reported measles cases was lower, likely due in part to regulations put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, during the same year, more than 22 million infants missed their first dose of measles-containing vaccine, 3 million more than in 2019, placing communities at heightened risk for outbreaks. In 2022, the WHO and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) reported a worldwide 79% increase in measles cases in the first two months of the year as compared with the same period in 2021, and warn of the risk for preventable diseases as restrictions continue to ease.

Measles is still common in many parts of the world, and travelers with measles can bring the disease to countries that have largely eliminated it. Measles can spread rapidly.

Sarampión: síntomas y signos

Obtenga más información sobre qué es el virus del sarampión y cómo se propaga el sarampión

September 20, 2023

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¿Qué es el sarampión?

El sarampión es un virus altamente contagioso que vive en la mucosidad de la nariz y la garganta de una persona infectada. Los síntomas aparecen entre 10 y 12 días después del contacto con el virus.

Los síntomas comunes del sarampión incluyen:

MSD Measles Infographic Spanish Language

Cómo se propaga el sarampión

¿El sarampión se transmite por el aire?

El virus del sarampión puede vivir hasta 2 horas en un espacio aéreo donde una persona infectada tosió o estornudó

¿Cuál es la tasa de transmisión del sarampión?

Si una persona tiene sarampión, hasta el 90% de las personas en riesgo cercanas a esa persona también se infectarán.

¿Durante cuánto tiempo es contagioso el sarampión?

Las personas infectadas pueden contagiar el sarampión a otras personas desde 4 días antes hasta 4 días después de que aparezca el sarpullido.

¿Cuánto dura el período de incubación del sarampión?

Después de estar expuesto al virus del sarampión, puede incubarse hasta por 21 días.

¿El sarampión causa complicaciones?

El sarampión puede causar complicaciones de salud graves, como infecciones de oído, diarrea, neumonía y encefalitis (una inflamación del cerebro), lo que afecta la vida diaria de los pacientes y sus cuidadores (p. ej., puede provocar la pérdida de horas laborales o escolares).

El sarampión puede ser grave y provocar complicaciones.

  • El sarampión puede causar serias complicaciones de salud al afectar varios sistemas de órganos, como los oídos y los ojos (lo que conlleva a la ceguera), el tracto gastrointestinal y el sistema nervioso central, y resultar en una inflamación del cerebro y la muerte.
  • Aproximadamente el 30 porciento de los casos de sarampión notificados tienen una o más complicaciones, como encefalitis o neumonía.
  • Aproximadamente 567 personas mueren en todo el mundo por complicaciones relacionadas con el sarampión cada día, lo que equivale a 24 muertes cada hora.

Comprender los brotes de sarampión


Entre 2000 y 2018, las muertes anuales notificadas por sarampión disminuyeron en un 73% a nivel mundial.


El número de casos de sarampión aumentó un 659% en 2019 (874,304 casos) en comparación con 2016 (132,490 casos)


Los desastres naturales y/o los conflictos pueden poner a los países en mayor riesgo de brotes mortales de sarampión al dañar la infraestructura de salud, interrumpir los servicios de salud y colocar a las personas en campamentos residenciales superpoblados.

Antes de la introducción de la vacuna contra el sarampión en 1963, el sarampión causaba aproximadamente 2,6 millones de muertes al año.

149 países reportaron 874,304 casos de sarampión a nivel mundial en 2019

Los estados miembros de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) informaron más casos de sarampión en 2019 que en cualquier año desde 1996.

En 2020, la cantidad de casos de sarampión notificados a nivel mundial fue menor, probablemente debido en parte a las regulaciones implementadas durante la pandemia de COVID-19. Sin embargo, durante el mismo año, más de 22 millones de bebés no recibieron su primera dosis de la vacuna contra el sarampión, 3 millones más que en 2019, lo que coloca a las comunidades en mayor riesgo de brotes. En 2022, la OMS y el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (UNICEF) reportaron un aumento del 79% en los casos de sarampión a nivel mundial en los dos primeros meses del año en comparación con el mismo período de 2021, y alertan sobre el riesgo de enfermedades prevenibles como restricciones continuar mitigando.

El sarampión sigue siendo común en muchas partes del mundo, y los viajeros con sarampión pueden llevar la enfermedad a países que la han erradicado en gran medida. El sarampión se puede propagar rápidamente.

Health awareness

Supermodel Veronica Webb raises awareness of lung cancer screening

Pushing past her fear, Webb learned how important it is to get screened for lung cancer

September 19, 2023

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Supermodel, mother, fashion icon and blogger Veronica Webb knew that because of her former history of smoking, combined with her age, she could be at high risk for lung cancer. Yet, getting screened for cancer was something that always scared her.

Globally, while lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancers, routine screenings for the disease are less prevalent compared to screenings for other types of cancers such as cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, or breast cancer.

Low-dose CT scans are painless and not invasive

Webb faced her fears and, no stranger to cameras, documented her first lung screening to show others what she learned: low-dose CT scans are painless and not invasive.

“It’s totally painless and, one, two, three, it’s over,” Webb said. “Knowing I was cancer free gave me peace of mind. If the people in your life and the things you want to do in your life mean a lot to you, get screened.”

Select factors that increase your risk for lung cancer are:*

A history of smoking
Exposure to certain materials in the environment, such as radon gas, asbestos and secondhand smoke
A family history of lung cancer
Exposure to other materials that cause cancer like arsenic, chromium and nickel

*The above list does not include all risk factors for lung cancer

Learn more about lung cancer and the risk factors


Macrocyclic peptides: the next wave of drug discovery

MSD scientists say the “Goldilocks” chemical modality could lead to new ways to impact disease

September 18, 2023

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Small molecules, generally taken as pills, make up nearly 90% of medicines used today. It’s hard to think of a world without them. The use of small molecules has been critical in expanding the reach of and access to medicines around the world.

But it’s challenging for small molecules to impact the large featureless surfaces of protein-protein interactions, which govern a wide range of biological processes in our bodies. To target these interactions, scientists have turned to large molecule biologic therapies, like monoclonal antibodies, which — taken by infusion or injection — have been critical in advancing the treatment of many diseases, including some cancers and autoimmune disorders.

Over a decade ago, MSD scientists began investigating a way to engineer a new type of medicine combining the ease-of-administration of a small molecule with the potency and target specificity of an antibody.

Macrocyclic peptides have shown promise in achieving this balance.

“Macrocyclic peptides allow us to cast a wider net on the protein interactions we want to drug, providing a vast and untapped opportunity to access a wider range of targets and potentially new ways to treat different diseases,” said Dani Schultz, director of chemistry, MSD Research Laboratories.

Not too big, not too small: the “Goldilocks” modality

Macrocyclic peptides have been called the “Goldilocks” chemical modality because their intermediate size combines the favorable properties of both small molecules and biologics¹. And thanks to their unique ring shape, macrocyclic peptides can cover more surface area to potentially disrupt protein-protein interactions more so than traditional, linear-shaped peptide therapies.

“The design and invention of macrocyclic peptides is notoriously complicated,” said David Thaisrivongs, director of chemistry in MSD Research Laboratories.

“Similarly, scaling production up for a macrocyclic peptide small molecule, with four to five times the size and complexity of a typical small molecule, represented a bold endeavor.”

  • David Thaisrivongs
    Director of chemistry, MSD Research Laboratories

For MSD, this work started by screening large libraries of cyclic peptides using messenger RNA display technology. This led to the identification of cyclic peptide leads that were optimized using 3-dimensional protein structure-based design and advanced computational techniques. Further molecular iterations and refinements improved the absorption, potency, and stability of the first candidate.

“A diverse, interdisciplinary team of skilled and determined people from across our chemistry organization has dedicated substantial efforts to advancing this science,” said Thaisrivongs.

A peptide renaissance

These macrocyclic peptide discovery efforts may one day allow us to treat diseases that have long evaded traditional small molecule approaches or improve access to medicines previously available only as an injectable.

“Macrocyclic peptides are a new modality and we’re still in the early stages of understanding their potential to impact disease and patient care,” said Schultz.

“There’s no playbook here, we’re innovating and developing new techniques on how to optimize and synthesize macrocyclic peptides — it’s really thrilling for me as a scientist because the potential is huge.”

  • Dani Schultz
    Director of chemistry, MSD Research Laboratories

Dani Schultz

[1] Beyond 20 in the 21st century: strengths, opportunities, and challenges of non-canonical amino acids in peptide drug discovery. Jennifer L. Hickey; A Dan Sindhikara; B Susan L. Zultanski  and Danielle M. Schultz


Taking on Zaire ebolavirus

How science and innovation fuel our efforts to help combat a rare but potentially deadly disease

September 11, 2023

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Patients inspire us to pursue the best science in our inventions and everything we do. Every innovation has the potential to help build a healthier, more hopeful future for people everywhere — which means taking on some of today’s global health challenges, including Ebola.

Leading the effort to combat Zaire ebolavirus

Our company is a health care leader in the fight against Zaire ebolavirus. Along with external collaborators from all sectors, our scientists are at the forefront of the response to outbreaks of this deadly disease as we continue to help address this global health challenge. Zaire ebolavirus has had a devastating impact on the world and has proved itself to be a potentially deadly and contagious disease, with a survival rate of 50%. While there are six identified Ebola virus species, the Zaire ebolavirus strain has been the leading cause of outbreaks over the last 20 years.

Global public health preparedness against future Zaire ebolavirus outbreaks requires advanced planning, system readiness for rapid deployment and collaboration and partnership between public and private entities around the world. Our partnerships with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health partners around the globe are a crucial component of our commitment to helping save and improve lives.

“It’s something that we take incredibly seriously and with a great sense of urgency to make sure that we do everything we can to help support the teams on the front lines,” says Beth-Ann Coller, distinguished scientist, clinical research, vaccines.

“Our team works with a 24/7 mentality to help tackle these outbreaks.”

Beth-Ann Coller

Distinguished scientist, clinical research, vaccines

In 2021, we established an agreement with UNICEF to create the world’s first global Ebola Zaire stockpile, the result of breakthrough innovation and collaboration with four leading international health and humanitarian organizations across the world. The global stockpile offers a critical, rapid-response tool.

“It has been our honor to collaborate with WHO, Gavi, UNICEF, the U.S. government and many others in supporting outbreak preparedness and response efforts,” said Drew Otoo, president of global vaccines. “Through these collaborations, we demonstrate what’s possible when partners come together to pursue a common purpose for patients.”

This level of collaboration continues to be needed for Zaire ebolavirus and other diseases. We remain committed to working in collaboration with global and local health partners to support current and future outbreak response efforts.


How we’re collaborating to address antimicrobial resistance – and why we can’t do it alone

Shared commitments like the AMR Action Fund are vital to make progress against this public health threat

September 8, 2023

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Antibiotics have transformed health care and saved countless lives. But rising levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) can make current antibiotics less effective. There’s no simple solution to the complex problem of AMR, but we’re committed to investing our expertise and resources alongside our partners to get antibiotics to those who need them most. Lives are at risk, and the time to act is now.

Through this groundbreaking partnership of over 20 leading pharmaceutical companies, philanthropies and organizations, we aim to bridge the gap between the innovative early antibiotic pipeline and patients. True to our legacy of preventing and treating infectious diseases, we’re proud of our commitment to invest $100 million over 10 years in the AMR Action Fund. The fund’s collective goal is to bring two to four novel antibiotics to patients and physicians by 2030.

As of early 2023, the AMR Action Fund has invested in five small biotech companies advancing research for new medicines to fight some of the most dangerous bacteria as determined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Here are five reasons collaborative efforts are key to addressing AMR:


New antibiotics are urgently needed; however, there are relatively few in development.

The future of antibiotic innovation is at serious risk. Major scientific, regulatory and economic challenges discourage innovation in antibiotics, resulting in a decline in the number of companies conducting antimicrobial R&D. Recognizing there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the problem, our company and others have suggested a series of policy reforms across several regions of the world. However, time is running out. We need collaboration from policymakers to help antibiotic innovation flourish for decades to come.


Once new antibiotics are approved, they need to be used responsibly.

At MSD, we’re making significant investments to support antimicrobial stewardship (AMS), a broad term for the implementation of evidence-based policies to slow resistance to current antimicrobials. Our investments and partnerships help hospitals around the world develop and implement patient-centered AMS programs that are customized locally based on factors like epidemiology, clinical setting and resource availability to support the responsible prescribing and use of antimicrobials. We also provide significant grant funding to support a wide range of AMS initiatives and collaborations.

Some of our global contributions to AMS include:

  • Supporting the development of several AMS Centers of Excellence throughout the world.
  • Helping public health leaders effectively monitor and address emerging AMR infections, promote AMS and customize accepted AMS strategies to meet local needs.
  • Providing significant grant-funding for numerous investigator-initiated AMS research projects.


Tracking resistance trends and using data to help doctors prescribe the right medicines remains critical.

Our company has been tracking global resistance trends for over 20 years. This data helps doctors prescribe the right medicines. One of the largest and longest-running AMR surveillance programs, our Study for Monitoring Antimicrobial Resistance Trends (SMART) program has collected nearly 500,000 Gram-Negative bacterial isolates from around 220 sites in more than 60 countries since 2002.

We’re also a partner of the AMR Register, a first-ever online platform that allows pharmaceutical companies to securely share data on infection-causing pathogens with researchers, national governments and multilateral organizations working to fight AMR.


AMR extends beyond human health.

The challenge of AMR is multifaceted, and a One Health approach to creating policies is critical to attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment.

When it comes to animal health, vaccines can help minimize the need for antibiotics. MSD Animal Health is one of the largest manufacturers of animal health vaccines, supplying over 102 billion doses each year.

Protecting the environment through responsible manufacturing is another key component of the One Health approach. We work with our partners in the AMR Industry Alliance to inform science-based manufacturing standards to help ensure scrutiny of industry manufacturing supply chains.


The time to act against AMR is now.

With collaboration across the scientific community and policymakers, AMR is preventable.

We all have a role to play as we prepare for the next health crisis. We must act now to put measures in place to ensure we have the antibiotics we need.

“AMR is not a future problem — it’s here now, threatening human, animal and environmental health as we know it. We must take swift, collaborative action to help reduce the risk of AMR before it’s too late,” said Jennifer Zachary, executive vice president and general counsel at MSD and member of the Global Leaders Group on AMR.

Health awareness

Endometrial cancer: understanding the signs and symptoms

Learn more about how you can detect endometrial cancer

August 29, 2023

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As we age, it’s important to recognize changes in the body. Irregular periods, postmenopausal bleeding, abnormal vaginal discharge, changes to bladder or bowel habits – these shifts can seem like a part of getting older. But for some, these changes can signal a more serious issue, as many mirror the symptoms of gynecologic cancers.

What is endometrial cancer?

In 2020, endometrial cancer was the second most commonly diagnosed gynecologic cancer worldwide. It occurs when cancerous cells form in the tissues of the endometrium or inner lining of the uterus.

How can I learn if I’m at risk for endometrial cancer?

While age, family history and lifestyle choices impact the risk of endometrial cancer, conditions that affect the body’s estrogen levels can also play a role. For example:

  • Hormone replacement therapy for menopause often includes an increase of estrogen to manage menopausal symptoms.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) usually creates higher estrogen levels and lower progesterone levels.
  • Estrogen modulators (tamoxifen) may cause the uterine lining to grow.
  • Certain comorbidities, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, have been linked as risk factors for endometrial cancer. For example, in people with obesity, fat tissue can convert certain hormones into estrogen, which increase the levels in the body.

Studies show Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with endometrial cancer than white women.


What to watch out for:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic pain
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Postmenopausal bleeding
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Changes to bowel or bladder habits

How is endometrial cancer diagnosed?

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about getting screened. Tests to diagnose it may include:

  • Endometrial biopsy: A thin, flexible tube is inserted into the uterus to collect a tissue sample from the endometrium
  • Dilation and curettage: The cervix is dilated to collect tissue from the inner lining of the uterus.
  • Hysteroscopy: An instrument with a light and lens for viewing is inserted into the uterus to look for abnormal areas.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound: A probe is inserted into the vagina to produce images that are used to assess the pelvic organs, including the uterus.

physician and lady talking

Being diagnosed with endometrial cancer can be scary. But by speaking with your doctor, you can better understand your options and build the best path forward.


Progress in ovarian cancer research starts with patients

Reflecting on the history of clinical research and our inspiration to continue innovating for ovarian cancer patients

August 29, 2023

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This article was written by Dr. Scot Ebbinghaus, VP, clinical research.

A history of groundbreaking research

More than sixty years ago, in 1958, British chemist and X-ray crystallographer Dr. Rosalind Franklin died following a two-year fight with ovarian cancer. She was only 37 years old. Her pioneering research provided the key to deciphering the structure and function of DNA — and ultimately the blueprint for life.

In 1962 her collaborators, James Watson, Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, were awarded the Nobel Prize for their “discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material.” Dr. Franklin’s untimely death denied her the acclaim of this prestigious scientific award (the Nobel Committee does not award the prize posthumously), but her role in this fundamental discovery has been well-documented and is now widely recognized.

Even today, advanced ovarian cancer remains one of the most difficult cancers to treat.

Dr. Franklin’s story of a life cut short by ovarian cancer remains all too common. But there remains a reason for optimism. The pace of change in cancer treatment has increased dramatically in recent years. Advances in research have given us a deeper understanding of how to target the disease, paving the way for new developments.

  • Ovarian cancer is the 8th most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the world.
  • In 2020, globally, it’s estimated that nearly 314,000 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which resulted in approximately 207,200 deaths.

Ovarian cancer more often causes signs and symptoms when the disease has spread, but can also cause nonspecific signs and symptoms in the early stages. Ovarian cancer is generally diagnosed after it has spread to other parts of the body.

The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • Bloating.
  • Pelvic pain.
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly.
  • Always feeling like you have to urinate, or having to urinate often.
Women sitting at table talking

At MSD, we are focused on translating breakthrough science into oncology therapeutics. We recognize that no two patients or cancers are the same, and multiple approaches – therapeutic regimens and mechanisms of action – will be needed to outpace this disease. That’s why we have worked rigorously to expand and diversify our own internal research programs.

There is still work to be done, but we believe strongly in our potential to transform the way certain cancers are treated. And, we are constantly inspired to work harder by stories like Dr. Rosalind Franklin’s.

Health awareness

Acting early in cancer detection

Diagnosing cancer early, before it has spread, may potentially lead to better outcomes

August 22, 2023

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Time is important with a cancer diagnosis. People with cancer may have the opportunity for better outcomes when the disease is detected early. And with increases in routine cancer screening, more cancer cases can be diagnosed before the disease has spread to other parts of the body.

“We’ve seen incredible progress in the fight against cancer in recent decades, driven by advances in early detection and the availability of new treatment options.”

  • Dr. Scot Ebbinghaus
    Vice president, oncology clinical research

“This progress makes me optimistic for a future where cancer is detected and treated as early as possible, giving patients the greatest chance to live cancer-free. We can’t rest now — I’m hopeful that we will continue to build on what we’ve learned about helping people with earlier stages of disease,” said Ebbinghaus.

But important work remains to continue to improve care and diagnose cancer early.

What is early-stage cancer?

After someone is diagnosed with cancer, doctors will try to figure out how much cancer is in the body and if their disease has spread — this process is called staging, which can help guide treatment decisions. Different cancer stages have different treatments and possible outcomes, and they’re associated with different odds of recurrence. 

Early-stage is a term that can be used to describe cancer that’s early in its growth, before it has spread to other parts of the body. However, each person’s experience with cancer is unique, and what doctors may define as early-stage can vary by the type of cancer.

When cancer is diagnosed, the goals of treatments are to slow, stop and possibly eliminate tumor growth.

Treatment may be more likely to be successful if it’s started before the cancer has spread, when surgery is a potential option. However, even after surgery, there is a risk that the cancer may spread to other parts of the body. Additional treatment may help lower that risk. In certain instances, other treatment options can be used before surgery (neoadjuvant) to help to reduce the size of the tumor, and/or after surgery (adjuvant) to lower the chance of the cancer from potentially coming back.

Detecting and treating cancer early may help reduce the risk of recurrence and increase the potential for survival.