GENEVA, Switzerland, February 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
On World Cancer Day, UICC and World Cancer Research Fund reveal real-life impact of achieving goal
World Cancer Day (4February) - Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) today announced that at least an estimated 13,000 lives, which would otherwise be lost to cancer, could be saved this year if the government were to meet the World Health Organisation's '25 by 25' target.1
The announcement on reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer, by 25 per cent by 2025 comes as a survey shows that a third of Britons still believe that developing cancer is due to fate.
In the UK, around 157,000 people die of cancer every year. Although the mortality rate is predicted to continue declining, due to a growing and aging population the number of deaths is expected to rise to around 182,000 deaths by 2025.
People's awareness of reducing their risk of cancer could be vital to curbing this anticipated increase. Unfortunately the results of a YouGov survey commissioned by WCRF show that 32 per cent of respondents believe that getting cancer is largely to due to fate and 28 per cent think that, aside from not smoking, there is little that can be done to prevent cancer.
Dr Kate Allen, Executive Director of Science and Public Affairs at WCRF, said: "These results are a real concern because they show that a significant proportion of people don't realise that there's a lot they can do to reduce their risk of cancer. By eating healthily, being physically active and keeping to a healthy weight, we estimate that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented.
"Everyone has a role to play in preventing cancer but governments and health professionals are key to raising awareness and making it easier for individuals to change their lifestyle habits."
Currently, 7.6 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, of which, 4 million die prematurely (aged 30 to 69).1UICC and IARC estimate that 1.5 million lives could be saved if urgent action is taken to raise awareness about cancer and develop practical strategies to address the disease. Otherwise, by 2025, this trend is projected to increase to an alarming 6 million premature cancer deaths per year.
The 1.5 million lives lost per year represent 25% of the estimated 6 million premature cancer deaths that will occur by 2025, and the 6 million figure is itself based on population projections of current numbers and aging.1
"The estimate of 1.5 million lives lost per year to cancer that could be prevented must serve to galvanise our efforts in implementing the World Health Organization's (WHO) '25 by 25' target," said Dr Christopher Wild, Director of IARC. "There is now a need for a global commitment to help drive advancements in policy and encourage implementation of comprehensive National Cancer Control Plans. If we are to succeed in this, we have a collective responsibility to support low- and middle-income countries who are tackling a cancer epidemic with insufficient resources."
UICC and WCRF are urging the public and governments alike to speak out with one voice to dispel damaging myths and misconceptions on cancer; by downloading the UICC World Cancer Day App. Everyone can play their part in reducing the unacceptable burden of cancer https://apps.facebook.com/world_cancer_day.
Cary Adams, CEO UICC said, "This World Cancer Day UICC, its members and partners urge everyone from individuals to governments to take a stand against damaging myths on cancer. By truly understanding this deadly disease, governments can develop appropriate strategies to reduce premature deaths and reach the WHO '25 by 25' goal. The figures today announced by IARC and UICC reveal the fundamental human value of achieving this target. 1.5 million people saved from an early death due to cancer is equal to the entire populations of Philadelphia, Auckland, Barcelona or West Yorkshire each and every year."
For more information on how you can get involved and take action against cancer, visit www.worldcancerday.org.
Notes for editors
- World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4 February and is the single initiative under which the UICC, its members, partners and the entire world can unite together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. It is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), through which we aim to help save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer, and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease.
- Under the theme 'Cancer - did you know?' individuals and communities are encouraged to shed light on four key cancer myths for World Cancer Day: http://www.worldcancerday.org/ Or follow events on twitter - http://twitter.com/UICC #WorldCancerDay, or Facebook - www.facebook.com/worldcancerday
- UICC is the leading international non-governmental organisation dedicated to the prevention and control of cancer worldwide. UICC is the largest cancer fighting organisation of its kind, with over 760 member organisations across 155 countries representing the world's major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, treatment centres and patient groups. www.uicc.org WCRF raises awareness that cancer is largely preventable and helps people make choices to reduce their chances of developing the disease. For more information, visit our website at www.wcrf-uk.org; follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wcrf_uk, read our blog at www.cancer-prevention.org or view our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/wcrfuk
- YouGov survey: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2004 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th and 17th January 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
1. It should also be stressed that this assumes the 25% reduction in overall mortality is spread in an even proportion across the main NCDs (cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung diseases and diabetes). This is actually not necessary for the ‘25 by 25’ target to be met, as there could be more progress on cardiovascular disease than on cancer, for example.