World Health Org Handbook for Countries/Cancer

WHO presents handbook to help countries set up cancer programs

[07/01/2002; Reuters Health]

OSLO, Norway - The World Health Organization presented a handbook on setting up national cancer control programs Monday that it said could help save millions of lives a year.

The 180-page guide was released at the 18th International Union Against Cancer conference, which was attended by about 3,000 experts in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.

WHO Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland said even poor countries can do much to prevent and detect cancer early, often with simple techniques and education.

"A well-conceived, well-managed program can improve the national situation," she said. She said the number of new cancer cases diagnosed worldwide each year is expected to increase by 50 percent to about 15 million by 2020.

The report said efforts like anti-smoking campaigns and other lifestyle changes can reduce the number of new cases by one-third and that another third can be effectively treated.

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