RTI International calls for campaign to fight cancer in India

NEW DELHI— As India comes to terms with millions of new cases and more than 700,000 deaths annually related to cancer, delegates at the two-day symposium, "Cancer Prevention in India," called for immediate action to promote a strategic communication campaign to improve cancer literacy and marshal resources to strengthen early detection and treatment linkages in India. 

The symposium, organized by RTI International, included a dynamic dialogue among almost 120 participants who recognized that the most important factor for saving lives in cancer is political will. 

"Political will is the courage to take action in the face of risk," said Tim Gabel, executive vice president of Social, Statistical, and Environmental Sciences at RTI.  "It is not just politicians who must exhibit political will – it is each of us in the course of our daily lives. We must make tough choices in the context of trade-offs, limited resources, and even controversy and unpopularity."

The symposium participants concluded by recommending policy, research and advocacy actions to be collaboratively addressed by government, the public health community, civil society and media. Attendees agreed the current cancer burden is an opportunity to launch a fight on cancer in India.  

The symposium was hosted in partnership with the American Cancer Society, Public Health Foundation of India, Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology, and Harvard Global Equity Initiative. 

Highlights

  • A two-day symposium, “Cancer Prevention in India,” called for immediate action to promote a strategic communication campaign to improve cancer literacy and marshal resources to strengthen early detection and treatment linkages in India