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Posted February 4, 2014

IARC/WHO Press Release

The ADAO congratulates the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialized cancer agency operating under the World Health Organization, on their recent launch of the World Cancer Report 2014. On February 3rd 2014 they released this report featuring critically important information on cancer research and control – primarily focused on prevention. The report is the accumulation of knowledge on the most pertinent cancer statistics and trends on incidence and mortality across the globe, expertly complied by over 250 leading scientists from all over the world.

The report highlights several key aspects in the global fight against cancer – several of which have a direct impact in supporting a global asbestos ban. The report states that in 2012 the most common cancer and the most fatal cancer in the world was lung cancer (1.8 million causes diagnosed with 1.6 million deaths annually). Lung cancer is often a cancer caused by airborne carcinogens including smoke, pollution, and other harmful chemicals such as asbestos.

Continuing on, the report further states that the rising incidence of these cancers is largely “associated with industrialized lifestyles.” Dr. Stewart expands confirming that, “adequate legislation can encourage healthier behavior, as well as having its recognized role in protecting people from workplace hazards and environmental pollutants.” This is especially true in underdeveloped countries where industrialization is often rapid and largely unchecked and the report declares that 60% of the world’s total cancer cases are from regions of large underdevelopment and that these regions also account for 70% of all cancer deaths.

The World Cancer Report 2014 emphasizes repeatedly that while cancer treatment is important and lifesaving, that with the exponential rise in cancer incidents and the costs associated with said treatments, the most affordable and effective means to help this global public health crisis is prevention. Government legislation in regards to education on risk factors and pollutant control is essential to reducing cancer deaths worldwide, and relating to asbestos, to reducing mesothelioma incidence and suffering. Since mesothelioma, as well as other cancers, is a disease lacking a cure it is prevention that we must look to to ease the suffering of the world. In the report Dr. Christopher Wild, director of the IARC and co-editor of the book, summarizes that: “more commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally.”

Prevention remains the only cure for mesothelioma, lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers, as well as non-malignant lung and respiratory diseases.

Together, change is possible.


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