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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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In Asia, A Debate Over Making Cancer a Global Health Priority
12 November 2009 11:20 am
Not surprisingly, cancer researchers in Asia think their specialty deserves to be a higher global health priority. Today at an Asia Cancer Forum discussion in Tsukuba, Japan, one speaker after another pointed to statistics showing that cancer, though thought of as an advanced country scourge, is rapidly overtaking AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria as a cause of premature mortality in the developing world. Yet cancer isn’t mentioned as one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Shigeru Omi, former World Health Organization Regional Director for the Western Pacific now at Jichi Medical University in Tochigi Prefecture, drew murmurs of approval from the partisan crowd when he said the global health pendulum had swung too far towards addressing infectious diseases "at the expense of non-communicable diseases." He suggested that Japan use its influence with international organizations to rebalance priorities.
Not so fast, countered Hiroyoshi Endo, an infectious diseases specialist at Tokyo Women's Medical University. Saying he was offering "constructive criticism from someone in a field in competition for resources," he noted that infectious disease scientists not only had very clear goals but proven methodologies and metrics for reducing the infectious disease burden. "For cancer to be included in the Millennium Development Goals, there must be more explicit goals and the means of evaluation must be clarified," Endo said.
Hajime Inoue, a public health adviser to the China Prefectural government, suggested cancer researchers do their homework and have solid proposals ready by 2015, the deadline for the current Millennium Development Goals and a likely starting point for new global health priorities.
The Asia Cancer Forum was held in conjunction with the 20th Asia Pacific Cancer Conference, running from 12 to 14 November.