Sunday, March 10, 2013

We Need A Coordinated Global Effort Against Cancer

Modern Medicine

If we are to succeed in our effort to eliminate cancer, it will take a far greater global effort, says a blog post, by Heidi Ledford, for the scientific journal, Nature.
The world needs better patient registries, improved treatments and more research if it is to tackle the international challenge posed by cancer, according to an international panel of leading cancer organizationsIt is becoming increasingly clear that cancer is a global problem, with more than half of the 12.7 million newly diagnosed cases each year occurring in the developing world. The panel’s report, published today by Science Translational Medicine, pulls together the findings of representatives of 15 countries that gathered together last November to discuss ways of reducing cancer deaths and improving cancer care around the globe.
The report highlights a series of research needs, including the need for more and better patient registries to provide data on cancer incidence and outcomes, noting that worldwide cancer estimates from the International Agency for Research Against Cancer are pulled together from only about one-third of 184 countries. The panel also emphasized the need for more research into cancer prevention, believed to be the most cost-effective way to reduce the impact of cancer, yet an area many believe is underfunded.
I couldn't agree more, and not only because I am a cancer patient. Just as we found out that prevention is the key to reducing heart disease, it will likely be the key to reducing the incidences of cancer, or at least catch it in the early stages of its progression. The earlier cancer is detected the less invasive the treatment. Let's hope that the patient registry becomes a reality; I, for one, have no qualms about sharing my medical history for both scientific gain and humanity's betterment.

You can read the rest of the article at [Nature]