MONTRÉAL, August 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Includes call for cancer target inclusion in revision of UN's Millennium Development Goals
Cancer control and government experts at the 2012 World Cancer Congress today outlined the priority actions needed to achieve the first United Nations' goal on non-communicable diseases (NCDs); an overall reduction in premature deaths by 25% by 2025.
Four NCDs - cancer, heart and cardiovascular, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases - accounted for 63% of global deaths in 2010, and that number was predicted to grow significantly in the future. NCDs will cause an economic loss of output in low and middle income economies exceeding $7 trillion, a yearly loss equivalent to 4% of annual output in these countries.
"The 25 by 25 goal set by the Member States at the World Health Assembly in May represents the single most important landmark decision taken by our generation in the fight against cancer and the other NCDs," said Cary Adams, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), CEO. "For many years, UICC and its members have argued that the burden of cancer can be reduced, but only with the true engagement of national governments committed to plan, fund and drive a robust national cancer control plan agenda. The 25 by 25 goal now gives this effort purpose and focus. We applaud the steps taken by the UN to address cancer in our lifetime."
To reflect the critical nature of meeting the '25 by 25' goal, representatives from the international cancer community today emphasised the urgency required to deliver that goal.
Princess Dina Mired, Director General of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, Jordan called on the UN to quickly translate the 25 by 25 goal into a meaningful Global Action Plan, detailing the steps required to reduce the risks of developing cancer, improving early detection rates and enhancing treatment and care capabilities around the world. "2025 may seem a long way ahead, but we must act now and insist that all countries place cancer at the heart of their health agenda. InJordan, the King Hussein Cancer Centre has turned what was a severely under-resourced cancer-care setting into a success story. In just 15 years our passion and comprehensive approach has increased individuals'chances of survival. It is imperative we replicate this elsewhere; we do not have time to waste."
Although the UN goal is supported wholeheartedly by the world's cancer community, they also believe that cancer should be recognised in the Millennium Development Goals (the MDGs). In 2000, world leaders agreed to 8 global targets to help free billions of people from poverty and other deprivations by 2015. With 2015 approaching, the UN is now consulting on a revised framework for these targets and the cancer community believes that cancer and the other NCDs must be included in their replacements.
"The American Cancer Society is taking a major step today to fight cancer globally by committing $2 million over the next three years towards our collaboration with UICC," said John R. Seffrin, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of the American Cancer Society and Past President of UICC (2002-2006). "This commitment will help dramatically improve access to pain medication worldwide, support the efforts to meet the '25 by 25' WHO goals, and support the development of cancer leaders worldwide."
"Reducing the global burden of cancer and sustainable development are intrinsically linked, so inclusion of targets for the prevention and control of NCDs and cancers into any revised UN MDGs or similar new development frameworkmakes perfect sense," noted Sir George Alleyne, Director Emeritus of WHO's Pan American Health Organization. "By signing the 2011 Political Declaration on NCDs, member states pledged commitments to tackling these diseases. Nations must now put these promises into action and focus on prioritising cancer control programmes, particularly developing world countries least equipped to cope with the environmental, social and economic impact of the disease."
Notes to editors
About the World Cancer Congress
Organised by UICC, the World Cancer Congress (WCC) is a biennial event during which key figures in the international cancer community meet, debate, share knowledge and connect with one another to identify strategies in order to reduce the human suffering and the social and economic impact of cancer.
WCC 2012, hosted by the Fondation québécoise du cancer, McGill University and Université de Montréal, will take place from 27 - 30 August in Montréal Canada. The congress theme of 2012; "Connecting for Global Impact" highlights the need for continued support and momentum in maximising the benefits of knowledge gained through research and practice to the lives those living with, and affected by, cancer.
The overall aim of the congress is to ensure that the knowledge gained from cancer research is efficiently and effectively used for those in need by:
• Putting cancer on the global health agenda
• Convening the cancer community
• Running global programmes
UICC exists to help the global health community accelerate the fight against cancer. UICC's growing membership of over 700 organisations in over 155 countries features the world's major professional and volunteer cancer societies, ministries of health and patient groups, in addition to influential policy makers, clinicians, researchers and cancer control experts.
UICC maintains the World Cancer Declaration, convenes the World Cancer Day, the World Cancer Congress, and the World Cancer Leaders' Summit. Additionally, it is a founding member of the NCD Alliance, a global civil society network that now represents almost 2,000 NCD organisations in 170 countries.
For more information visit: http://www.uicc.org
1. WEF. The Global Burden of NCDs. Available at: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Harvard_HE_GlobalEconomicBurdenNonCommunicableDiseases_2011.pdf. Last accessed August 2012