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IAEA Forum Examines Cancer Crisis in Developing Countries

Cancer

Cancer is a looming public health catastrophe across east Africa and the developing world and rates of incidence of the disease are rising in low- and middle-income countries. (Photo: D. Sacchetti/IAEA)

Cancer kills more people globally than tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria combined. Over half of these cancer cases occur in developing countries. Yet, the vast majority of the funds invested to treat cancer are spent in the developed world. Developing countries that already are coping with severe economic limitations now confront a cancer epidemic.

The disease can be successfully cured if the afflicted have access to qualified medical staff, early diagnosis and effective treatment, such as radiotherapy. Today, in the developing world, all of these resources are lacking, contributing to cancer´s swift spread.

Cancer in Developing Countries: Facing the Challenge is the focus of the IAEA´s 2010 Scientific Forum. The two-day Conference begins in Vienna on 21 September 2010. Prominent scientists and public health leaders from national cancer societies, cancer control organizations and international bodies, including the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) will provide expert insights into the issue´s complex set of inter-related challenges. Policy-makers, health care experts, and dignitaries will also discuss the cancer epidemic´s implications for public health policy in low- and middle-income countries.

Background

Every year the IAEA holds a Scientific Forum in conjunction with its annual General Conference, attended by all Member States. Each Scientific Forum is devoted to a different aspect of the peaceful uses of nuclear technology, ranging from energy for development and sustainability to safety and food security.

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-- By Peter Kaiser, IAEA Division of Public Information.