John R. Seffrin
Former Chief Executive Officer
American Cancer Society
There has perhaps never been a more exciting time to be part of the fight against cancer. Never before have we faced such great challenge, or such great opportunity, in our work to combat this disease worldwide and to ultimately bring it under control.
In recent years, we have made marked progress against cancer in many countries. In the USA, for example, we have seen 20 successive years of declines in cancer mortality rates, which translates to a total of more than 1.3 million cancer deaths averted.
Yet as you will see in the pages of this Atlas, in far too many corners of the globe, cancer threatens lives and livelihoods as never before. Africa, for example, is poised to become the epicenter of the tobacco pandemic, which threatens to kill 1 billion this century, if left unchecked—many of those deaths from cancer. Other regions are threatened by this scourge as well. And across the map, low- and middle-income nations are struggling with how to effectively turn the tide against the rising threat of cancer and other chronic diseases, which is burdening ill-prepared health care systems and emerging economies alike.
If we are to bring cancer under control as a major public health problem, it will take all of us, working together, to do so. We must work across all sectors, and learn from and with one another, sharing the proven strategies and best buys we’ve developed while fighting this disease. The American Cancer Society is so pleased to participate in this second edition of the Cancer Atlas because it embodies this spirit of collaboration and the open exchange of information that must take place if we are to save more lives.
We at the Society believe this critical publication will be an essential and accessible resource for everyone involved in the cancer fight—from advocates and agencies to policymakers and patients, and everyone in between. This timely, evidence-based publication offers a wealth of compelling data to help combat cancer in communities and nations worldwide. Information is a powerful tool in the hands of passionate, dedicated individuals, and this book provides an unparalleled resource to arm and inform everyone committed to this fight.
This edition of The Cancer Atlas is unique because it brings together expert opinions from around the globe, with more than 40 contributing authors and peer reviewers. Just as it is designed as a resource for diverse groups, so too do the contributing experts come from diverse backgrounds, ranging from centers of academia to government institutions and nongovernmental organizations. It is also unique in its accessibility, as the Atlas will be available for the first time in an interactive and free online edition.
The American Cancer Society is committed to working relentlessly to save more lives from cancer both at home and worldwide, and to one day finishing this fight for good. We believe this second edition of The Cancer Atlas will be a valuable tool that helps us all work collectively toward this laudable— and achievable— goal. As you peruse the pages that follow, I am sure you will agree.