Comprehensive cancer control refers to the broad implementation of ethical and proven measures to actively address the burden of cancer. These approaches range from prevention, early detection (including early diagnosis and screening) to treatment, while encompassing palliative care and rehabilitation. Other components, such as cancer registry and surveillance help to strengthen the delivery of services and are key to the implementation and monitoring of effective cancer programmes.
Comprehensive cancer control aims to reduce the incidence, morbidity and mortality of cancer and to improve the quality of life of cancer patients. These efforts need to engage all levels of the national health system to reach the entire population, from the healthy to those at high risk, to patients that are yet to show symptoms. Additionally, the needs of all groups at risk need to be met, including those with a family history of cancer and those who have been diagnosed, cured or are in the final stages of the disease.
The IAEA, through its Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), works in collaboration with the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and many others, to build a coalition of international partners committed to addressing the challenge of cancer in low- and middle-income IAEA Member States. This network of organizations from many sectors supports countries to expand access to needed health technologies, build skills and raise funds to develop a comprehensive range of affordable and quality services for cancer patients.
A well-planned and implemented cancer control strategy helps to reduce the disparities between patients who can and those who cannot access cancer services, and goes to form the basis of a solid national investment, which will benefit patients for decades to come. Government commitment, coupled with the collaborative support and expertise from PACT and its strategic partners, are vital to develop and implement successful cancer control programmes to save many lives from cancer.