By David Hunter
Vincent L. Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention,
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
These initiatives, focused mainly on the U.S., will almost certainly extend the lives of some cancer patients in the future.
However, cancer deaths worldwide are estimated to increase by over 50 percent between 2015 and 2030, mainly due to expanding and aging populations. We already have the knowledge and technology to reduce this toll for future decades without waiting for new breakthroughs.
About half of cancer cases and deaths worldwide are preventable. For instance, lung and liver cancer are the most common causes of cancer deaths around the world and cervical cancer is the fourth leading cause among women. And we already know how to prevent almost all of them.
Like many of my colleagues who study cancer prevention, I believe that scaling up existing preventive interventions and already available treatments over two to three decades could save millions of lives around the world. [Read more…]