Reducing death from cancer: what will it take?

Tumour Biol. 2012 Oct;33(5):1275-8. doi: 10.1007/s13277-012-0425-0. Epub 2012 Jun 5.


In spite of advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, cancer remains a serious problem for most societies. It is unlikely that cancer can ever be eliminated entirely; therefore, we must continue to seek ways to reduce the incidence, morbidity, and mortality from this devastating disease. Although most cancer research is devoted to finding new treatments, there are many other obstacles to reducing death from cancer that will need to be addressed if significant progress is to be made. These include growth in the number of cancer cases owing to the increasing longevity of populations, unequal access to cancer care, the increasing number of cancer survivors, limited resources including human resources, and our inability to deal with preventable cancers. To address these challenges, we must make cancer a national and international priority. We must focus our attention on prevention, not just on treatment, including elimination of tobacco use and reduction in exposure to environmental carcinogens. Finally, we must improve the accessibility of cancer care and ensure that there will be new generations of oncologists, health-care providers, and biomedical researchers by investing in medical research and education.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*