One third of cancer deaths are due to preventable causes such as viral infection, poor nutrition and widespread tobacco use. Another third of cases are treatable if detected early but governments and institutions face a wide range of serious health problems, and cancer is often not a priority in limited resource settings.
Cancer control in developing countries is a global responsibility:
Developing countries face great challenges in addressing the ever growing burden of cancer in their countries, there is a growing view that a global response is needed to achieve significant success in cancer control and prevention throughout the developing world.
In 2009 the UICC launched The World Cancer Declaration (www.uicc.org/decleration). The declaration brings the growing cancer crisis to the attention of government leaders and health policymakers across the globe. To those who sign up to it, it represents a consensus among government officials, public health experts and cancer advocates from around the world who are committed to eliminating cancer. So far the declaration has collected over 500,000 signatures.
In September 2011, the adoption of the Political Declaration of the High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by the 193 Member States of the United Nations (UN) provided the global cancer community with a robust platform to launch the next phase of advocacy to ensure the following World Cancer Declaration targets are met by 2020:
- Ensure effective delivery systems in all countries;
- Significantly improve measurement of the cancer burden;
- Decrease tobacco, alcohol consumption and obesity;
- Ensure universal coverage of the HPV/HBV vaccine;
- Dispel damaging myths and misconceptions;
- Diagnose more cancers via screening and early detection;
- Improve access to diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care;
- Provide universal availability of effective pain control;
- Improve training opportunities for cancer control professionals;
- Reduce emigration of healthcare workers specialised in cancer; and
- Significantly improve global cancer survival rates.