At Least 13,000 Premature Deaths in UK Could be Prevented Each Year by Meeting WHO Disease Targets

At Least 13,000 Premature Deaths in UK Could be Prevented Each Year by Meeting
                             WHO Disease Targets

  PR Newswire

  GENEVA, Switzerland, February 4, 2013

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  On World Cancer Day, UICC and World Cancer Research Fund reveal real-life
                           impact of achieving goal

World Cancer Day (4February) - Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
and World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) today announced that at least an
estimated 13,000 lives, which would otherwise be lost to cancer, could be
saved this year if the government were to meet the World Health Organisation's
'25 by 25' target. ^1

The announcement on reducing premature deaths from non-communicable diseases
(NCDs), including cancer, by 25 per cent by 2025 comes as a survey shows that
a third of Britons still believe that developing cancer is due to fate.

In the UK, around 157,000 people die of cancer every year. Although the
mortality rate is predicted to continue declining, due to a growing and aging
population the number of deaths is expected to rise to around 182,000 deaths
by 2025.

People's awareness of reducing their risk of cancer could be vital to curbing
this anticipated increase. Unfortunately the results of a YouGov survey
commissioned by WCRF show that 32 per cent of respondents believe that getting
cancer is largely to due to fate and 28 per cent think that, aside from not
smoking, there is little that can be done to prevent cancer.

Dr Kate Allen, Executive Director of Science and Public Affairs at WCRF, said:
"These results are a real concern because they show that a significant
proportion of people don't realise that there's a lot they can do to reduce
their risk of cancer. By eating healthily, being physically active and keeping
to a healthy weight, we estimate that about a third of the most common cancers
could be prevented.

"Everyone has a role to play in preventing cancer but governments and health
professionals are key to raising awareness and making it easier for
individuals to change their lifestyle habits."

Currently, 7.6 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, of which,
4 million die prematurely (aged 30 to 69). ^1 UICC and IARC estimate that 1.5
million lives could be saved if urgent action is taken to raise awareness
about cancer and develop practical strategies to address the disease.
Otherwise, by 2025, this trend is projected to increase to an alarming 6
million premature cancer deaths per year.

The 1.5 million lives lost per year represent 25% of the estimated 6 million
premature cancer deaths that will occur by 2025, and the 6 million figure is
itself based on population projections of current numbers and aging. ^1

"The estimate of 1.5 million lives lost per year to cancer that could be
prevented must serve to galvanise our efforts in implementing the World Health
Organization's (WHO) '25 by 25' target," said Dr Christopher Wild, Director of
IARC. "There is now a need for a global commitment to help drive advancements
in policy and encourage implementation of comprehensive National Cancer
Control Plans. If we are to succeed in this, we have a collective
responsibility to support low- and middle-income countries who are tackling a
cancer epidemic with insufficient resources."

UICC and WCRF are urging the public and governments alike to speak out with
one voice to dispel damaging myths and misconceptions on cancer; by
downloading the UICC World Cancer Day App. Everyone can play their part in
reducing the unacceptable burden of cancer .

Cary Adams, CEO UICC said, "This World Cancer Day UICC, its members and
partners urge everyone from individuals to governments to take a stand against
damaging myths on cancer. By truly understanding this deadly disease,
governments can develop appropriate strategies to reduce premature deaths and
reach the WHO '25 by 25' goal. The figures today announced by IARC and UICC
reveal the fundamental human value of achieving this target. 1.5 million
people saved from an early death due to cancer is equal to the entire
populations of Philadelphia, Auckland, Barcelona or West Yorkshire each and
every year."

For more information on how you can get involved and take action against
cancer, visit .

Notes for editors

  *World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4 February and is the single
    initiative under which the UICC, its members, partners and the entire
    world can unite together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic.
    It is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC),
    through which we aim to help save millions of preventable deaths each year
    by raising awareness and education about cancer, and pressing governments
    and individuals across the world to take action against the disease.
  *Under the theme 'Cancer - did you know?' individuals and communities are
    encouraged to shed light on four key cancer myths for World Cancer Day: Or follow events on twitter - #WorldCancerDay, or Facebook -
  *UICC is the leading international non-governmental organisation dedicated
    to the prevention and control of cancer worldwide. UICC is the largest
    cancer fighting organisation of its kind, with over 760 member
    organisations across 155 countries representing the world's major cancer
    societies, ministries of health, research institutes, treatment centres
    and patient groups. WCRF raises awareness that cancer is
    largely preventable and helps people make choices to reduce their chances
    of developing the disease. For more information, visit our website at ; follow us on Twitter at ,
    read our blog at or view our Facebook page at
  *YouGov survey: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.
    Total sample size was 2004 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15
    ^th and 17th January 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures
    have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

1. It should also be stressed that this assumes the 25% reduction in overall
mortality is spread in an even proportion across the main NCDs (cancer,
cardiovascular disease, chronic lung diseases and diabetes). This is actually
not necessary for the ‘25 by 25’ target to be met, as there could be more
progress on cardiovascular disease than on cancer, for example.

Contact: Media contacts: UICC Press Relations, Laura Korgaonkar, Email: , Tel: +44-207-798-9928 / +44-7985-540-319
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