With the right strategies, a third of the most common cancers can be prevented.
Global, regional and national policies and programmes that promote healthy lifestyles can substantially reduce cancers that are caused by risk factors such as tobacco use, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.
For developing countries, the situation often goes beyond addressing behavioural change, with many countries facing a ‘double burden’ of exposures, the most common of which is cancer-causing infections. Chronic infections are estimated to cause approximately 16% of all cancers globally, with this figure rising to almost 23% in developing countries. Several of the most common cancers in developing countries such as liver, cervical and stomach cancers are associated with infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV), the human papillomavirus (HPV), and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), respectively.
Exposure to a wide range of environmental causes in our personal and professional lives, including exposure to indoor air pollution, radiation and excessive sunlight are also major preventable causes of cancer.
UICC therefore advocates for priority actions to achieve the following World Cancer Declaration targets: