The creation and implementation of national cancer control plans is becoming increasingly necessary for countries in Africa, with the number of new cancer cases per year in the continent expected to reach up to 1·5 million by 2020. Examples from South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, and Rwanda describe the state of national cancer control plans and their implementation. Whereas in Rwanda the emphasis is on development of basic facilities needed for cancer care, in those countries with more developed economies, such as South Africa and Nigeria, the political will to fund national cancer control plans is limited, even though the plans exist and are otherwise well conceived. Improved awareness of the increasing burden of cancer and increased advocacy are needed to put pressure on governments to develop, fund, and implement national cancer control plans across the continent.
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