DEPARTMENTS: From the Editor
Quite recently, a group of 60 leaders in cancer care who referred to themselves as the "global cancer community" issued a written call to action intended to galvanize individuals and groups across the globe to ensure the achievement of 11 notably ambitious target goals by 2020. Among the target goals were access to care delivery systems in all countries that include effective cancer control programs; measurement of the impact of cancer control interventions; reduction of tobacco consumption, obesity and alcohol intake; universal vaccination programs for HPV and HBV; programmatic efforts to combat publicly held myths about cancer; an increase in effective screening and early detection programs; universal access to appropriate cancer treatments, supportive care, rehabilitative and palliative care; effective pain control; improved training opportunities for healthcare professionals; and major improvements in cancer survivorship among other targets. The expressed motivation for this World Cancer Declaration 2008 and these targets is the alarming global increase in cancer. The authors of the declaration acknowledge the ambitious nature of the targets but justified this in their belief that the targets are in fact rights of all individuals. The declaration is then a human rights issue. The authors also included in the document suggested strategies to accomplish the target goals. Necessarily so, the strategies are as ambitious as the target goals and will depend upon the successful mobilization of stakeholders in the cancer experience, including cancer patients. Verb phrases such as push governments, advocate for, undertake pilot projects, and promote use of cancer treatment guidelines are the terms used in this section of the declaration. Calls for investment in both basic and clinical research and an acceleration of the translation of research findings into cancer care are also a part of the declaration. Quite importantly, the call includes encouragement to researchers and organizations to share data as one strategy to optimize the use of cancer research funds. The International Union against Cancer (UICC) is charged with promoting partnerships and international collaboration so that the targets can be achieved. I am hugely thankful for the courageous dreaming and active believing of these cancer care leaders. It could be said that it is our right and our responsibility to dream and to believe in ambitious cancer care targets. These targets have a much better chance of being achieved if oncology nurses engage themselves and their organizations in ways that can help. There are immediate steps that we can take. First, at the individual level, we can access the Web site of the World Cancer Declaration and endorse it (http://www.uicc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14227&itemid=356). Second, urge your nursing organization to adopt one or more of these targets and to develop a timeline of organized efforts to contribute to these noble goals. As part of that step, contact the UICC and volunteer your organization or your personal efforts. We are the partners that these leaders are dreaming of and believing in-let us not disappoint.
My very best to you.
Pamela S. Hinds, PhD, RN, FAAN
Editor in Chief, Cancer Nursing™