Approximately 47% of cancer cases and 55% of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs). By 2030, LMICs are expected to bear the brunt of the estimated 21.4 million new cancer cases per year, accounting for 60-70% of the global cancer burden.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer, constitute a major health and development challenge, impacting every pillar of sustainable development: economic growth, social equity and environmental protection. Reducing the NCD burden is a prerequisite for addressing social and economic inequity, stimulating economic growth and accelerating sustainable development.
In collaboration with the NCD Alliance, UICC has been involved in a six-year advocacy campaign to position NCDs in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted in September 2015. Three of the nine health targets in the SDGs focus on NCD-related issues including a target to “reduce by one third premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and wellbeing.”
Implementing cost-effective cancer interventions across the care continuum can strengthen the health system and increase a country’s capacity to respond to a range of diseases and population groups. It is thus critical to achieving not only SDG health targets, but also SDGs more broadly. We know that a healthy population relies on sustainable development but, equally, sustainable development relies on a healthy population.