Newswise — PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [February 4, 2020] — February 4, 2020, marks the 20th annual World Cancer Day. On this day, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®)—a nonprofit alliance of leading cancer centers—is commemorating its 25th anniversary year by looking back at the tremendous progress made against cancer over the past quarter-century and looking forward to further define and advance high-quality, high-value, patient-centered cancer care globally. Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society (ACS) announced that the cancer death rate has dropped 29% in the United States since 1991. However, cancer is still the second-leading cause of death worldwide, according to the Union of International Cancer Control (UICC), whose newly-released report from the International Public Opinion Survey on Cancer 2020: What people feel, think, and believe about cancer today indicates a clear divide between higher and lower socioeconomic groups when it comes to awareness of cancer risks and how to mitigate them.
The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) are free resources that help raise standards for cancer care worldwide. The evidence-based, consensus-driven recommendations are intended to ensure that all patients receive the preventive, diagnostic, treatment, and supportive services that are most likely to lead to optimal outcomes. They were downloaded more than 11 million times across the globe in 2019; an increase of more than a million over the previous year. NCCN Guidelines® are the most thorough and frequently-updated medical guidelines available, and have expanded to now cover 76 different topics, including cancer types that account for over 97% all cancer cases, plus supportive care such as distress, pain, smoking cessation, immunotherapy-related toxicity, and many others.
“Remarkable progress has been made in the fight against cancer,” said Robert W. Carlson, MD, NCCN’s Chief Executive Officer (who appears in the World Cancer Day “20 Leaders 1 Question” video series). “In the past year, NCCN launched two new pediatric cancer guidelines in response to the nearly 90% survival rates for childhood leukemias and lymphomas that seemed untreatable just a few decades ago. We also see progress reflected in the growing need for improving the survivorship experience, and in ongoing efforts to tailor cancer treatments to each specific patient. Unfortunately, there are still too many places where optimal treatment recommendations aren’t being followed or can’t be followed due to a lack of resources. Our goal, today and every day, is to make high-quality cancer care accessible to everybody.”
One way NCCN is addressing disparities is through the publication of NCCN Guidelines for Patients®, patient-friendly versions of the clinical guidelines which empower people with cancer and their caregivers with free, unbiased guidance from the world’s leading cancer experts. They are supported by the NCCN Foundation. In honor of World Cancer Day, NCCN is working to publish a new book for people with cervical cancer. Cervical cancer has the 4th highest cancer incidence in women worldwide, with the highest incidence and mortality in predominantly resource-constrained regions of the world, including Sub-Saharan Africa (where NCCN recently helped launch Allied Against Cancer, with the African Cancer Coalition, ACS, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and IBM. Ongoing work includes the creation and publication of a library of NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™). Visit NCCN.org/wcd to learn more about, and share in, the ongoing efforts.
NCCN is also addressing the treatment and prevention of HPV-related cancers (including cervical cancer) during the NCCN 2020 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida on March 20-22. Julie Torode, PhD, Director of Special Projects for UICC will participate in a keynote session titled “Strategies for Prevention and Control of HPV-Associated Cancers.” The panel will discuss the benefits of vaccination, and explain how to incorporate appropriate screening and treatment strategies for HPV-associated cancers. Visit NCCN.org/conference for the full conference agenda, which also includes sessions on guidelines updates, biomarkers, biosimilars, hereditary cancer risks, smoking cessation, and a roundtable discussion on cancer care during an election year.
“To tackle the global cancer burden now and for the future, governments and decision makers across the international cancer community must come together to ensure that everyone is afforded every opportunity to take control over their cancer risk—no matter their education or income level,” said UICC President HRH Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, in a statement for World Cancer Day.
About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of 28 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. By defining and advancing high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers around the world.
About the NCCN Foundation
The NCCN Foundation® was founded by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) to empower people with cancer and advance oncology innovation. The NCCN Foundation empowers people with cancer and their caregivers by delivering unbiased expert guidance from the world’s leading cancer experts through the library of NCCN Guidelines for Patients® and other patient education resources. The NCCN Foundation is also committed to advancing cancer treatment by funding the nation’s promising young investigators at the forefront of cancer research. For more information about the NCCN Foundation, visit NCCN.org/patients.
About World Cancer Day 2020
World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4 February and is the uniting global initiative under which the world comes together to raise the profile of cancer in a positive and inspiring way. Spearheaded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and improving education about the disease while calling for action from governments and individuals across the world.
World Cancer Day 2020 will be led by the theme ‘I Am and I Will’, an empowering call for personal commitment and represents the power of our actions taken now to reduce the growing impact of cancer.
This year follows on from the success of last year’s campaign, which saw nearly 1,000 activities taking place in 127 countries, over 700,000 social media posts, and 62 governments participating in 2019.
For more information, please visit: www.worldcancerday.org