Across the developing world, cancer has become a major health challenge that needs to be urgently tackled. Cancer kills more than 7.6 million people every year — more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
More than one third of cancers can be prevented and another third are curable if detected early, but in low and middle income countries (LMI), about 70% of all cancer cases are diagnosed too late. If action is not taken now, 84 million people, many of them in low and middle income countries, will die of the disease over the next ten years.
Confronting the Crisis
In response to the developing world's cancer crisis, the IAEA established the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) in 2004 to fully realize the public health impact obtained through global partnerships in cancer control and technology transfer in radiation medicine. PACT's vision strives for global partnerships to confront the cancer crisis in developing countries, notably with our sister United Nations agency, the World Health Organization (WHO), and our Joint Programme on Cancer Control established in 2009.
The IAEA, through PACT, the WHO, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and other cancer-related organizations work together to make a coordinated global response in supporting low and middle income (LMI) IAEA Member States in the implementation of comprehensive national cancer control programmes.
PACT's goals are:
- To build global partnerships of cancer-related organizations committed to addressing the challenge of cancer in LMI Member States in all its aspects;
- To mobilize resources from charitable trusts, foundations, and others in public and private sectors sources to assist LMI Member States to develop and implement their radiation medicine capacities within a national cancer control programme (NCCP); and,
- To ensure the effective and sustainable transfer of radiation medicine technologies or knowledge to all LMI Member States where unmet needs exist.