International Community Called Upon to Stop the Runaway Train of Cancer in Africa

By European Society For Medical Oncology esmo, PRNE
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LUGANO, Switzerland, January 27, 2011 - To coincide with World Cancer Day 2011, on 4 February, the Africa Oxford
Cancer Foundation (AfrOx) and the European Society for Medical Oncology
(ESMO) are working together to raise international awareness of the growing
problem of cancer in Africa.

AfrOx and ESMO are launching the 'Cancer in Africa: the Runaway Train'
video, seeking to galvanise the global community to stop the train and
prevent as many cancer deaths as possible (

In addition to the video, AfrOx and ESMO are launching a series of cancer
prevention awareness posters for African countries (free to download at or with the aim of
developing a template for low-cost cancer awareness and prevention programmes
that can be replicated in other developing countries.

At present cancer kills more than 7 million people per year and is
responsible for more deaths worldwide than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis
combined. It is estimated that if no action is taken, the situation will
continue to deteriorate and by 2020 it is expected that there will be 16
million new cases per year. 70% of these new cases will occur in the
developing world.

"The rising incidence of cancer in Africa is like a runaway train coming
down the track," noted Alan Milburn, former UK Secretary of State for Health
and Chairman of AfrOx. "The global community must act now to prevent the
situation from deteriorating."

"One third of cancers affecting people in the developing world are
potentially preventable and another third treatable if detected early,"
Milburn continued. "Bad habits and diet, tobacco use and sedentary lifestyles
can lead to cancer. Avoiding them can also be a way to prevent cancer."

Professor David Kerr, ESMO President, said "ESMO has a commitment to
support the fight against cancer outside of Europe and we are delighted to be
working with AfrOx to both raise global awareness of the problem of cancer in
Africa and support prevention and awareness programmes in developing

"We also have high expectations that the 2011 United Nations Summit on
Non-Communicable Diseases will result in cost-effective global strategies to
support our efforts," Prof Kerr added.

Show your support on Facebook (, Twitter ( or @AfrOxFoundation) and YouTube (

    Vanita Sharma
    Tel: +44(0)7967-651-601

    Vanessa Pavinato

Vanita Sharma, vanita.sharma at, Tel: +44(0)7967-651-601; Vanessa Pavinato, media at

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