Combating Cancer: Progress Is Both Possible and Achievable

Tobacco causes more avoidable cancer deaths than any other risk factor and was responsible for about 2.3 million cancer deaths worldwide, or 24% of all cancer deaths in 2017, according to the new edition of the Cancer Atlas that was presented on Wednesday at a cancer summit meeting in Nur-Sultan (Astana) in Kazakhstan.

Lung Cancer in Non Smokers

Lung Cancer Non-Smokers

This publication, produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialist agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), together with the American Cancer Society and the Union for International Cancer Control, provides a comprehensive overview of essential information about cancer.

“The  Cancer Atlas not only provides a direct insight into the fundamentals of the cancer problem and its determinants around the world but also it is a unique presentation of the range of cancer interventions – from major interventions to creating synergies between health systems and diseases,” said Dr. Elisabete Weiderpass, Director of the IARC.

“This is a highly visual overview of global information that tells a compelling story about the potential impact of cancer prevention and control on reducing cancer disparities, stimulating economic growth and accelerating sustainable development,” she said.

This third edition of the Cancer Atlas, under the theme “Access creates progress”, highlights current global cancer profiles and the underlying causes of cancer, as well as effective strategies to reduce the burden of cancer in all countries.

According to the IARC, this atlas will be a valuable tool for all those who want to gain a better understanding of this complex disease and the effective measures to combat cancer, including governments, public health authorities, policymakers, patients, survivors, and the general public.

“Cancer is a matter of sustainable development,” says Elisabete Weiderpass. “Tackling the cancer problem is a prerequisite for tackling social and economic inequalities, boosting economic growth and accelerating sustainable development. I hope this book will be widely used, as prevention is and should be the first line of attack to address the challenges of the global cancer epidemic.

The preamble to the publication, written by Gary Reedy, the Executive Director of the American Cancer Society, calls for more “so that everyone can benefit from the progress made in the fight against cancer” and stresses that “progress is not only possible but also feasible”.

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