On World Cancer Day 2015, leading
global public health experts from the Union for International Cancer Control
(UICC) announce that millions of lives can be saved through affordable increases
in the investment into cancer services throughout the world.
- Increased annual international community funding of
US$18 billion globally could save three million lives per year by 2030 and many
more in succeeding decades, through prevention, earlier detection and improved
care for cancer patients.
- Increased funding will also provide pain relief to
ease the deaths of millions who will die of cancer during this period.
- A tripling of tobacco taxes alone would raise tax
revenue available to governments to US$400 billion annually and could encourage
one-third of smokers to quit, according to today's new figures.
"More than eight million people a
year die from cancer of which more than 60% of those deaths occurred in low-
and middle-income countries, the majority in the middle-income segment",
says Professor Tezer Kutluk, President of the Union for International Cancer
absolute number of cancer cases in developing countries is set to rise
dramatically because of population growth and ageing, so action must be taken
now. Whilst the US$18 billion package is affordable for many countries, it's
unrealistic to expect the world's poorest nations to contribute to this
investment without international support," stresses Prof. Kutluk.
data presented at the World Cancer Congress in December from DCP3,
Cancer (Volume 3 of the third DCP edition) calls on middle-income countries
with the means to do so to increase spending on cancer by 2-5% of their health
budgets. Low-income countries - where services are least developed, facilities
largely absent and trained cancer experts few - will need support from the
international community to build capacity, a process that is likely to take a
decade or more.
Health Organization recommended "best buys" for non-communicable diseases
(NCDs) in 2011, including these cancer prevention interventions:
- Tobacco taxation, regulation and control to reduce
- Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination to prevent liver cancer.
- Screening and treatment for precancerous cervical
DCP3 Cancer adds basic treatment
and pain control interventions to this list, which together create an
- HPV vaccination for adolescent girls to prevent
- Pain control for advanced cancer.
- Treatment of selected paediatric cancers.
- Diagnosing and treating early-stage breast and colon
measures address high-burden cancers (cervical, breast and colon cancers),
highly-curable cancers, (selected) paediatric cancers. All interventions are
cost-effective, affordable in most middle-income countries (and attainable in
low-income countries, with international assistance) and feasible within the
"It is not beyond us to prevent
premature deaths from cancer, so we simply cannot sit back and continue to let
the global burden grow. On World Cancer Day 2015 we demand that the
international community unites to invest in improved cancer control
interventions, particularly in low- and middle-income countries," urges Cary
Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).
"Feasible and affordable solutions exist across the entire spectrum of cancer
such as increased tobacco control, earlier detection and treatment, plus access
to life-saving vaccination programmes, which if implemented, will help to
significantly reduce disease-based poverty and prevent millions of preventable