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Managing the Nation’s Cancer Research Portfolio

NCI Center for Global Health

Cancer doesn’t stop at borders. Yet, there are differences in how any given cancer may manifest itself in different countries and different peoples, and science increasingly must confront cancer rates that vary from nation to nation, causes that are affected by living conditions, and screening and treatment options that are culturally appropriate in one region but not another. One fact, however, has become clear: We will not gain the upper hand on cancer unless we address it as a global public health problem.

In 2008, nearly 7.6 million people died from cancer worldwide. By 2030, the number of cancer deaths may be as high as 13.2 million, with more than two out of three occurring in low-income and middle-income countries. More than 35 percent of these deaths may be preventable by controlling tobacco use, diet, and alcohol use, and by immunizing against infections that can lead to cancer—especially HPV, which is responsible for nearly all cases of cervical cancer and large percentages of anal, vulvar, and oropharyngeal cancers. In addition, screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer—combined with effective treatments—can also prevent deaths from those diseases.

In 2011, NCI established the Center for Global Health, to coordinate and prioritize NCI’s research efforts that can have a direct impact on global cancer, primarily in low-income and middle-income countries. Below are some stories about how that impact is being made throughout the nation’s research portfolio:

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Center for Global Health