Managing Population Health to Prevent and Detect Cancer and Non-Communicable Diseases


The goals of cancer control strategies are generally uniform across all constituencies and are to reduce cancerincidence, reduce cancer mortality, and improve quality of life for those affected by cancer. A well-constructedstrategy will ensure that all of its elements can ultimately be connected to one of these goals. When a cancer controlstrategy is being implemented, it is essential to map progress towards these goals; without mapping progress, itis impossible to assess which components of the strategy require more attention or resources and which are nothaving the desired effect and need to be re-evaluated. In order to monitor and evaluate these strategies, systemsneed to be put in place to collect data and the appropriate indicators of performance need to be identified.Session 2 of the 4th International Cancer Control Congress (ICCC-4) focused on how to manage populationhealth to prevent and detect cancers and non-communicable diseases through two plenary presentations andfour interactive workshop discussions: 1) registries, measurement, and management in cancer control; 2) useof information for planning and evaluating screening and early detection programs; 3) alternative models forpromoting community health, integrated care and illness management; and 4) control of non-communicablediseases. Workshop discussions highlighted that population based cancer registries are fundamental tounderstanding the cancer burden within a country. However, many countries in Africa, Asia, and South/Central America do not have them in place. A new global initiative is underway, which brings together severalinternational agencies, and aims to establish six IARC regional registration resource centres over the next fiveyears. These will provide training, support, infrastructure and advocacy to local networks of cancer registries,and, it is hoped, improve the host countries’ ability to assess and act on cancer issues within their jurisdictions.Multiple methods of programme evaluation were presented across workshops, but all were attuned to both theresource base and the specific questions to be addressed. Where innovative strategies were being tested, customizedevaluation strategies should be undertaken. Where programmes are well-developed and data is being collected forevaluation, there is the opportunity for sophisticated analytical methods to be used to pinpoint specific areas ordelivery sites for future quality improvement. Finally, unique opportunities now exist to integrate the strategiesdeveloped in cancer control and evaluation with those under development for other non-communicable diseases.This area will likely be one for future development.