NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
November 9, 2004 • Volume 1 / Number 43 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Director's Update

Addressing the Global Challenge of Cancer

The global burden of cancer is large and projected to grow larger. Each year there are approximately 10 million new cancer cases and more than 6 million deaths worldwide. In many developed countries, including the United States, cancer accounts for more than 20 percent of all deaths. In less developed countries, all-site cancer rates are generally lower and cancer accounts for a lower percentage of deaths. However, it is within developing countries that cancer is projected to increase most rapidly over the next few decades. Unless current trends change, cancer in developing countries is expected to represent 70 percent of the global cancer burden by the year 2030, a statistic driven by demographic shifts toward more elderly populations and the movement toward more Western lifestyles, most notably increased per capita tobacco consumption and higher fat/lower fiber diets.

In developing countries, up to 25 percent of cancers are currently linked to infectious agents, including hepatitis viruses and human papillomavirus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer. Approximately 80 percent of the women who die from cervical cancer live in developing countries. Cancer prevention activities in these countries are scant, and screening and early detection programs are rare. Compounding this problem are limited financial resources available for cancer treatment and fewer highly trained and skilled providers of cancer care.  Read more  

Middle East Cancer Consortium Expanding in Size and Influence

With the addition of Turkey earlier this year, the Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC) continues to grow and influence cancer prevention and care in its member countries. In June, Turkey, with a population of about 70 million, officially joined MECC at a signing ceremony in Ankara, Turkey. Other member countries include Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. Turkey's addition brings the population represented by MECC to more than 160 million.

"Even in a part of the world where strife and violence are a regular part of life, cancer is a reality that we must do our best to address," said National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach. "After more than 8 years, MECC has proven that despite political and social differences, people can come together and do the work of trying to improve other people's lives." Read more  

The NCI Cancer Bulletin is produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI, which was established in 1937, leads the national effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. Through basic, clinical, and population-based biomedical research and training, NCI conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can identify the environmental and genetic causes of cancer, prevent cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate cancers through innovative treatment interventions, and biologically control those cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.

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