Policymakers challenged to boost cancer services

Attendees at the 2018 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit.
Attendees at the 2018 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit.

GLOBAL health leaders from across UN Agencies, the non-profit and private sectors, and academia issued an urgent call to countries to increase access to, and investment in, cancer services to improve vital early detection, treatment, care, and public health data.

They said the need for national action on cancer is more urgent than ever.

New data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimates that there will be 18.1 million new cancer cases diagnosed and 9.6 million cancer deaths in 2018.

At the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit (WCLS), global health leaders from across UN Agencies, the non-profit and private sectors, and academia issued an urgent call to countries to increase access to, and investment in, cancer services to improve vital early detection, treatment, care, and public health data.

The need for national action on cancer is more urgent than ever. New data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimates that there will be 18.1 million new cancer cases diagnosed and 9.6 million cancer deaths in 2018. This means that countries are way off-course to meet the ambitious global target of reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), like cancer, 25 per cent by 2025 as agreed by the World Health Organisation in 2013.

Commenting on the global cancer situation Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) President, Professor Sanchia Aranda, said cancer is not just a health concern, but also a serious threat to development.

Professor Sanchia Aranda addresses the Summit.
Professor Sanchia Aranda addresses the Summit.

“The growing burden has clear implications for patients, their families, and health systems, but also for the economic growth of a country as a whole,” said Prof Aranda.

Following on from last week’s global review of progress at the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, this year’s WCLS urges governments to demonstrate leadership by turning their support for the Union for International Cancer Control’s ‘Treatment for All’ campaign into action to improve cancer outcomes.

Delivering the WCLS Call to Action UICC President-elect, HRH Princess Dina Mired, said Treatment for All is possible in every country.

“What we need is strategic national plans and national champions for cancer control to implement these measures,” she said.

The WCLS is the leading global high-level policy meeting dedicated exclusively to furthering global cancer control. It will bring together decision makers from around the world including Ministers of Health; non-profit leaders; high-level representatives from the WHO, the World Bank, the IAEA, the IARC, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS); as well as representatives from the public and private sector. 350 global influencers in cancer control and public health will be in attendance.

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