“We can, I can,” is the slogan for World Cancer Day 2016, and prevention is on the agenda. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have teamed up together, encouraging governments around the world to implement public policies that may collectively prevent 1/3 of cancer cases.
In the Americas, cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death, and an estimated 2.8 million new cases are diagnosed every year. But according to the experts, over one third of these cases could be prevented–provided that populations get enough support from their governments. Strategies suggested include:
-increasing taxes and restricting access to tobacco and alcohol
-educating the public on immunizations (such as the immunization for hepatitis B, which can cause liver cancer)
-providing early screening programs for cancers that are easily treatable in their early stages
-promoting better awareness of the anti-cancer benefits of healthy diet and exercise
“To address cancer and save lives, we must strengthen policies and services that effectively prevent and detect cancer in its early stages, and also increase access to treatment and improve cancer patients’ quality of life,” said Silvana Luciani, regional adviser at PAHO.
PAHO, established in 1902, is part of the United Nations, and the oldest public health organization in the world.