CancerOver 250 global cancer and health leaders gathered at the World Cancer Leaders’ Summit (WCLS) to call for a comprehensive and robust World Health Assembly (WHA) cancer resolution in 2017. This is a response to countries urgently seeking guidance on the set-up of quality national cancer control programmes to help meet the World Health Organization’s target of a 25% reduction in premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 2025.

The need for, and purpose of, this new resolution has been driven by a new report, which identifies the major cancer control challenges that must be immediately addressed.

The World Cancer Declaration Progress Report 2016, released by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), highlights that although significant progress has been made in key areas, such as cancer planning and smokefree policies; further efforts are still needed to:
• Extend tobacco control to full implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and reduce exposure to the other cancer risk factors, such as obesity
• Establish effective population-based cancer registries
• Better address the worldwide shortage in oncology health workers
• Guarantee equity of access to cancer diagnosis, treatment and care.

“With just under 10 years left to meet the target of reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25 per cent, governments and policy-makers must act now to ensure equitable access to services to allow people to live with and survive cancer. With today’s publication of the World Cancer Declaration Progress Report 2016, UICC is calling upon leaders worldwide to learn from the cancer control successes seen to date, but also ensure sufficient resources and focus to strengthen health systems for the significant challenges that the ongoing rise in cancer cases poses.” said Professor Tezer Kutluk, UICC President.

The impact of cancer across the world is epidemic. Today, one in three people (36 million) are affected by cancer worldwide and more than eight million people die from the disease every year, out of which, four million die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years). Estimates predict this to increase to an alarming six million premature cancer deaths per year by 2025, unless further action is taken to reduce disease rates.