MELBOURNE, Australia, August 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Professor David Hill, Director of The Cancer Council Victoria, will commence in his role as President of the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) on 27 August 2008 at the World Cancer Congress in Geneva.
The UICC is a powerful advocacy group with more than 300 member agencies including Cancer Research United Kingdom and the American Cancer Society. Under Professor Hill's leadership the UICC will drive the worldwide agenda improving cancer prevention and survival through its membership base. Professor Hill said Governments around the world that focus on cancer prevention campaigns today will potentially save the lives of millions of people.
"This will have a substantial impact on the healthcare system, decreasing the pressure as more cancers are prevented," he said. "We have the knowledge today to reduce the cancer burden worldwide. In Australia, cancer survival has increased significantly over the past two decades with 58 per cent of men and 64 per cent of females surviving beyond 5 years of their cancer diagnoses," Professor Hill said.
"If we compare this to the period from 1982-1986, only 41 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women were surviving five years after their cancer diagnoses." Professor Hill highlights that with more than 7 million people worldwide dying from cancer and close to 11 million new cases diagnosed every year, the road to fighting cancer is a long one.
However, Professor Hill said that there is a great opportunity to implement what we already know about cancer and improve the worldwide cancer survival. "Seventy per cent of worldwide cancer deaths have occurred in low and middle-income countries, which belies the assumption often made that cancer is not a significant problem beyond affluent nations.
"One's decision to avoid smoking, be SunSmart, reduce alcohol intake, eat a nutritionally balanced diet, exercise regularly and participate in vaccination programs can significantly impact the cancer burden."
Professor Hill said the trick to making inroads in cancer is to share the responsibility we all carry to change our cancer-related behaviours of those whose lifestyle habits we have some influence on.
Media contact: Belinda Goldfinch m - +61-419-552-179 Belinda.Goldfinch@cancervic.org.au
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