Cancer Trends and the Importance of Prevention

Document Type : Mini Review


Health Management Research Center and Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The incidence and mortality of cancer is expected to grow rapidly. In Iran cancer morbidity and mortality are gradually changing as a result of economic, demographic and epidemiological transition. Common cancers, such as breast, prostate, colorectal and stomach have different rates of morbidity and mortality in advanced countries and also in Iran. This differentiation has been attributed to prevention measures and activities to control cancer. Cancer prevention and control is one of the most important scientific and public health challenges of this era. A comprehensive cancer control program suggests various ways to control cancer and implements those that are the most cost-effective and beneficial for the largest part of the Iranian population. Thus, it is suggested that a cancer prevention program in three levels of prevention is conducted. The goal of primary prevention is controlling of cancer causes which will be done by preventing human exposure to the risk factors of cancer. Secondary prevention includes early detection of cancer based on the screening program and an effective and timely treatment. Tertiary prevention includes Palliative care to improve the quality of life of patients and their families facing these problems. Considering the existing facilities and the breadth of the primary health care network and human resources and scientific support, a comprehensive cancer control program must be integrated into the primary healthcare network in Iran.


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