(2003), "World Health Organization", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 16 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2003.06216fab.001Download as .RIS
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World Health Organization
World Health Organization
Global action to reduce cancer
Keywords: WHO, International, Care
In June the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) called for action by all sectors to prevent and treat cancer throughout the world and estimated that by doing so, at least two million lives could be saved by 2020 and 6.5 million lives by 2040.
A booklet, Global Action Against Cancer, jointly authored by the two organisations and complementary to the information in the World Cancer Report released earlier this year, presents cancer mortality and incidence figures for 12 different regions around the world and, for the first time, tracks the evolution of the global cancer picture in the years to come if current trends continue, with forecasts that regions including Northern Africa and Western Asia, South America, the Caribbean, and South East Asia could face sharp increases of over 75 per cent in the number of cancer deaths in 2020 as compared to 2000. Although knowledge about prevention and treatment of cancer is increasing the number of new cases grows every year. If current trends continue, 15 million people will discover they have cancer in 2020, two-thirds of them in newly industrialised and developing countries.
The WHO and UICC challenge international organizations, governments, institutions and individuals from all sectors, public and private, to work together to reverse the trends by addressing common risk factors, providing recommended treatment, and planning effectively at national and regional levels. They also call for concerted efforts to improve quality of life for those living with and dying from cancer, their families, and caregivers.
Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of WHO, said: "With existing knowledge, it is possible to prevent at least one-third of the ten million cancer cases that occur annually throughout the world. Where sufficient resources are made available, current knowledge also allows the early detection and effective treatment of a further one-third of those cases. Pain relief and palliative care can improve the quality of life of cancer patients and their families."
Dr John R. Seffrin, President of UICC, said: "Cancer is potentially the most preventable and most curable of the major life-threatening diseases facing humankind. By applying existing knowledge and promoting evidence-based actions in cancer control, we will turn this truth into reality for all people everywhere."
The WHO and UICC are working together to address the cancer situation at a global level and to promote responsibility of all sectors in finding solutions to control one of the world's most studied diseases.