The predictions of the Global Cancer Observatory of the International Agency for Research on Cancer/World Health Organization (IARC/WHO) about cancer incidence and mortality in the next twenty years are bleak. Cancer affects all age groups, with one third of the new cancer patients worldwide reported to be younger than 65 years in 2020. Even more worryingly, social disparities often determine whether a cancer diagnosis equals to a death sentence.
Within this bleak landscape, there is convincing scientific evidence that a large proportion of cancer cases and deaths are preventable. Given the long period usually required for manifestation of the disease, application of cancer prevention measures can only reverse the current trends after a considerable amount time. Thus, it is imperative to implement known effective prevention interventions as soon as possible.
Molecular Oncology guest Editors Joachim Schüz and Carolina Espina put together a Special Issue to emphasise on the importance of primary cancer prevention. Articles of this issue discuss tobacco control policies, measures to reduce the occupational cancer burden, converging strategies for prevention of cancer and mitigation of climate change, vaccination efforts to eliminate HPV-associated cancers, and cancer prevention through the targeting of unhealthy diet, obesity, and sedentary behaviour are discussed, among other topics. Moreover, they highlight the need for structural changes additionally to preventive measures targeting behavioural patterns among individuals. Economical, structural and political determinants of prevention policies are also discussed.
Watch the video summary below, or read the full Special Issue here.