Dr. Samir N. Khleif, Director of the Georgia Regents University Cancer Center, is one of 100 international cancer experts who were invited to participate in the World Oncology Forum (WOF), which is calling on governments around the world to take urgent action to halt a catastrophic increase in death and suffering from cancer across the globe, and to deliver on commitments they made at the World Health Assembly in May 2012 to cut premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, including cancer, by 25% by 2025.
The STOP CANCER NOW! appeal launched on World Cancer Day and is the statement that the WOF formulated during its meeting in February in Lugano, Switzerland. It raises the alarm about the rapid escalation in the human and economic cost of cancer, and warns that current strategies for controlling cancer are not working. It calls on governments and policy makers to commit to pursuing new strategies that have been shown to be effective and are achievable anywhere in the world. Meeting these commitments could save the lives of 1.5 million people across the globe each year.
The World Oncology Forum (WOF) was organized by the European School of Oncology in partnership with The Lancet for the purpose of evaluating progress in the fight against cancer. Having listened to the evidence on progress to date in controlling cancer, WOF participants concluded that current strategies are not fit for purpose and need radical overhaul. In launching this appeal, the WOF participants are not just calling on world leaders to wake up to the scale of suffering caused by cancer, but are also presenting a set of feasible strategies that can be carried out anywhere in the world and can make a real difference. Cancer is one of the biggest causes of death in every corner of the globe, and the rate of new cases is increasing so fast that it is expected to double over 25 years, with the heaviest burden falling on countries that are least prepared to detect and treat the disease and care for patients. This catastrophic scenario can be averted, but it will take the sort of determined international action that was mounted in response to the AIDS crisis 20 years ago.
The STOP CANCER NOW! appeal appeared today as an advertisement in the International Herald Tribune, Le Monde, El País, La Repubblica and Neue Zürcher Zeitung. It was also published alongside a commentary in The Lancet and in an article in Cancer World. The STOP CANCER NOW! Appeal is available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.