4 February 2013

Governments and world leaders must wake up to the damage escalating rates of new cancers are inflicting on citizens, communities and economies, and mount the sort of determined global response we saw against the AIDS epidemic 25 years ago. This is the message the World Oncology Forum will send out on World Cancer Day, with a statement published in the International Herald Tribune, Le Monde, La Repubblica, El País, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, The Lancet and Cancer World. Events are planned in a number of countries to launch the statement and bring it to the attention of political leaders.
Under the heading Stop Cancer Now! the statement will spell out the horrendous and escalating cost of cancer in terms of human suffering and economic burden. It will make clear that unless the international community adopts and implements radical new cancer control strategies, rates of new cases will double over 25 years, with the number of deaths from cancer rising to more than 13 million a year. It will also set out strategies for prevention, detection, diagnostics, care and strengthening of health services that can reverse current trends, helping world leaders fulfil commitments made at a global UN Summit in 2011 to cut deaths from non-communicable diseases, including cancer, by 25% by 2025.
These strategies were developed at the World Oncology Forum by a gathering of top international experts in cancer research, treatment, epidemiology, prevention, policy, policy implementation and advocacy, together with industry leaders and journalists. The Forum was convened by the European School of Oncology at the end of 2012 to evaluate the fight against cancer and develop strategies for accelerating progress. The final session, which formulated the statement, was compèred by Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet.
A short film documenting the World Oncology Forum, together with further information about participants and the agenda, is available at www.eso.net (http://www.eso.net/varie/wof.html), together with details of World Cancer Day events to launch the statement. The Stop Cancer Now! Statement will be available on the ESO site from February 4th.