Experts warn of human and economic cost of inaction on cancer

Announcement calls for significant expansion of country level cancer control programmes.

Monday 27 August 2012: Montréal, Canada – Ministers of Health and leading international figures at the 2012 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit (WCLS) today committed to reduce the burden of cancer through supporting wider uptake of national cancer control

Cancer imparts on all societies a heavy burden of distress, suffering and death which is set to have enormous economic impact if governments do not take action now. This is true throughout the world, but particularly in countries lacking the health infrastructure to cope with the increasing number of people affected by the disease. Without sustained action, cancer incidence is projected to increase by 70% in middle-income countries and 82% in lower-income countries by 2030.   It is also estimated that cancer and the other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) - diabetes, cardiovascular and lung disease - will cause an economic loss of output in low and middle income economies exceeding $7 trillion by 2025 - a yearly loss equivalent to 4% of annual output in these countries.  

“National cancer control programmes evaluate the best ways to control and prevent cancer at country level”, says Dr Oleg Chestnov, Assistant Director-General for No