Novel Methods for Measuring Global Cancer Burden: Implications for Global Cancer Control | Cancer Screening, Prevention, Control | JAMA Oncology | JAMA Network
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July 2015

Novel Methods for Measuring Global Cancer Burden: Implications for Global Cancer Control

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 2Center for Global Health, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland
JAMA Oncol. 2015;1(4):425-427. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.1426

International organizations and agencies have recognized the need to broaden their focus from infectious diseases to address the rising impact of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) on global health in low- and middle-income countries. The United Nations (UN) held a historic high-level meeting on September 19, 2011, to consider the prevention and control of NCDs with the aim to adopt a concise, action-oriented outcome document that will shape the global agendas for generations to come.1 New attention is being directed toward heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and cancer as problems to address in countries at all economic levels. However, specific cancer control recommendations by the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been largely limited to prevention strategies and only superficially address cancer diagnosis and treatment strategies. The NCD political declaration mentions cancer generally and promotes “increased access to cost-effective cancer screening programmes, as determined by national situations”1(p7) but otherwise gives little or no guidance about how diagnosed cancers should be managed. To improve cancer care, it is critical to have good assessments of the global burden of cancer to provide an actionable framework for health policy makers, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where health resources are limited and competing health demands are great.