CAPE TOWN, Nov. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - United Nations (UN) officials,
Ministries of Health and leading international decision makers have
come together for the first time in Africa to discuss the growing
global cancer burden at the 2013 World Cancer Leaders' Summit (WCLS)
which took place today at Cape Town City Hall.
Organised by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and
hosted by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), the event is
an important forum to secure a coordinated, multilevel global response
to address the spiralling cancer epidemic in low- and middle-income
countries (LMICs) and to ensure that cancer control is fully recognised
in the world health and development agendas.
The WCLS represents a significant response from the global cancer
community to the recent commitment made by the UN to achieve the global
goal of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by 25% by 2025.
"The theme of this year's Summit is 'Closing the Cancer Divide by 2025'
which highlights the urgent need to address the glaring disparities in
cancer control within and across national, international and regional
boundaries," said Professor Mary Gospodarowicz, President of the Union
for International Cancer Control (UICC). "It is of particular
significance that we are in Africa today, a region that is seeing an
overwhelming increase in cancer incidence and deaths."
According to the World Health Organization, more than 12 million people
worldwide will be diagnosed with cancer this year, of which
approximately eight million will die. Often misconceived as a disease
of wealthy, developed populations the truth is that over 70% of cancer
deaths actually occur in LMICs. And without sustained action, cancer
incidence is projected to increase by 70% in middle-income countries
and 82% in lower-income countries by 2030.[i]
CEO of CANSA and cancer survivor, Sue Janse Van Rensburg, explained the
importance of ensuring better access, better reporting and having more
data available so that cancer can be controlled in an effective manner.
"We needed this very important event to create more awareness,
especially amongst the leaders in cancer control in Africa."
Ms Zoleka Mandela, a cancer advocate and survivor, attended the Summit
and highlighted the importance of early detection, "Women's cancers are
the most prevalent cancer among sub-Saharan Africa women. With few
exceptions, early stage cancers are more treatable than late stage
cancers, so access to early detection, screening and treatment
programmes are critical."
The WCLS addressed how the global cancer community can support LMICs to
improve the collection and understanding of cancer information in their
countries, heighten awareness of women's cancers and what options exist
to improve access to essential medicines and technologies to treat the
Please visit http://www.uicc.org for more information.
i. World Bank. Growing Danger of non-communicable diseases. Available at
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/HEALTHNUTRITIONANDPOPULATION/Resources/Peer-Reviewed-Publications/WBDeepeningCrisis.pdf Last accessed August 2012
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