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Global cancer alliance backs support for tobacco treaty


Global Cancer Alliance calls on Cancer Control community to put words into action and save millions of lives

The Alliance for Global Cancer Control issued its first public statement today, calling for the rapid implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The Alliance, the first worldwide coalition addressing global cancer control, emphasised that eliminating tobacco use could prevent an estimated 30% of all cancer cases and 90% of all lung cancer cases.

In the statement, issued at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Helsinki, the Alliance for Global Cancer Control supports and accepts shared responsibility for worldwide implementation of the FCTC. The FCTC is the first global health treaty and intends to curb the tobacco epidemic. More than 30 organizations signed the statement including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Union Against Cancer (UICC).

“The FCTC provides a unique opportunity for the global cancer control community to join forces with the tobacco control community to stop the spread of the tobacco epidemic. For the reduction of the cancer burden and for the benefit of future generations, the Alliance for Global Cancer Control calls for action across countries, sectors and disciplines to reverse current trends in the fight against tobacco globally,” said Dr. John Seffrin, President of UICC.

Cancer – a global public health problem

The cancer burden is increasing in all regions of the world including in poor countries. Over 20 million people are living with cancer today, with 10 million new cases of cancer worldwide and six million cancer deaths each year. By 2020, cancer-related deaths will increase to 10 million per year. Concerted efforts to prevent cancer, treat cancer, and improve the quality of life of patients and survivors throughout the world are essential to reversing the current trends.

By taking immediate and concerted action, the Alliance for Global Cancer Control estimates that at least two million lives could be saved by 2020, that at least 6.5 million lives could be saved by 2040 and that of the 22.4 million people living with cancer today, all could benefit from improved quality of life.

“Global cancer control cannot be dealt with in isolation. Results can only be achieved by sharing expertise and improving coordination at the highest of levels. This requires concerted efforts between governmental international organizations, governments, research institutes, cancer centres, non-governmental organizations, companies, trade associations, foundations, and public health agencies,” said Dr LEE Jong-wook, the Director-General of the WHO.

The Alliance for Global Cancer Control

The Alliance for Global Cancer Control is the first worldwide coalition addressing the global control of cancer with organizational participation at the highest levels. It includes members from all sectors: governmental, non-governmental, and private, and consults with all disciplines including medical, nursing, scientific, public health, and communications. The Alliance for Global Cancer Control calls for action through concerted efforts to prevent cancer, treat cancer, and improve the quality of life of patients and survivors throughout the world.

For more on the Alliance for Global Cancer Control, contact the secretariat at UICC, 3 rue du Conseil General, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland, E-mail: .

Andreas Ullrich | WHO
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