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NMH. CNCD Archives

PAHO´S Work in Cancer Prevention and Control

PAHO provides technical cooperation on cancer prevention and control to its Member States on issues ranging from primary prevention through to palliative care, and include the following areas:

  • national cancer control plans

  • cancer prevention (tobacco control, healthy diet and physical activity, reduce harmful use of alcohol, occupational and environmental health)

  • cervical cancer prevention and control, including HPV vaccines

  • breast cancer prevention and control

  • radiological health

  • palliative care

  • strengthening cancer registries

The PAHO/WHO mandates for cancer control are based on several WHO and PAHO resolutions, including the World Health Assembly resolution on cancer prevention and control (May 2005), which urges Member States to intensify action against cancer by developing and reinforcing cancer control programs; and requesting the Director-General to develop WHO’s work and capacity in this respect, with special emphasis on less developed countries. In addition, the PAHO Regional Strategy and Plan of Action on an Integrated Approach to the Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases, calls for cancer prevention and control to be an integral part of chronic disease programs.

Summary table of PAHO/WHO mandates for cancer control

World Health Organization (WHO)
2000 Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (WHA 53.17)
2003 WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHA 56.1)
2004 Global Estrategy on diet, physical activity and health (WHA 57.17)
2005 Cancer Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (WHA 28.22)
2007 Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases: implementation of the global strategy (WHA 60.23)
2008 Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control  (Doc A53/14, 61ª WHA)
2008 Commission on Social Determinants of Health Final Report
2010 Global Strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol (WHA 63.13)
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
2006 Regional Strategy on an Integrated Approach to the Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases (138ª Executive Comitte, CE138.R1)
2008 Regional Strategy and Plan of Action for Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control in Latin America and the Caribbean, 48ª PAHO Directing Council (CD48.R10)
Last Updated on Friday, 20 May 2011 09:41

Cancer Program Management Evaluation

Comprehensive national cancer prevention and control programs aim to reduce cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality and improve the quality of life of cancer patients in a defined population, through the systematic and equitable implementation of evidence based interventions for prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care, making the best use of available resources.

Because of the wealth of available knowledge, all countries can, at some level, implement these basic components of cancer control:

  • Prevention of cancer offers the greatest public health potential and the most cost-effective long-term method of cancer control. We have sufficient knowledge to prevent around 40% of cancers, most of which are linked to tobacco use, unhealthy diet or infectious agents, amongst other factors.

  • Early detection diagnoses the disease at an early stage, when it has a high potential for cure. Interventions are available which allow the early detection of around one third of cases.

  • Treatment aims to cure disease, prolong life and improve the quality of remaining life after the diagnosis of cancer is confirmed by the appropriate available procedures. The most effective and efficient treatment is linked to early detection programmes and follows evidence-based standards of care.

  • Palliative care meets the needs of all patients requiring relief from symptoms and of psychosocial and supportive care, particularly those with advanced stages who have a very low chance of being cured or who are facing the terminal phase of the disease.

PAHO´s role and programs

PAHO plays a key role providing guidance and assistance on how to address cancer through national comprehensive policies and plans, based on cost-effective evidence based public health interventions. It also aims to improve access, quality and capacity of health services as well as the availability and rational use of cancer medicines and opioids for cancer pain management. In addition, it provides support on cancer program management and evaluation, covering aspects such as cancer registries, information systems, training, research and evaluation focused on a continuous quality improvement strategy. Furthermore, PAHO´s leadership is essential to improve coordination and collaboration with partner organizations, supporting a multistakeholder approach for cancer control; promote joint work between countries in the region; and conduct resource mobilization to support projects.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 10:00

Chronic Disease Archives

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Last Updated on Monday, 17 August 2009 07:10

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