Almost everyone has a friend or loved one who has battled cancer. Every year, cancer claims more than 8.8 million lives. Unless we act, by 2030 the number of annual cancer deaths could reach 13 million. But we don’t have to accept that, because another future is possible.
Many of the leading contributors to cancer are preventable. Tobacco use causes more than 20 percent of cancer deaths. Obesity also contributes to many cancers, and studies show that one-third of deaths from common cancers could be prevented with healthy diet and exercise. Early screening for breast cancer and cervical cancers also save lives. At the same time, innovative new treatments, including immunotherapy, are defeating cancers that were incurable.
There is more we can be doing both to find a cure for cancer and to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Governments, businesses, non-profits, and citizens all have roles to play in supporting policies and research that can save lives. This is work that should transcend politics, uniting all nations and all people.