Primary prevention and early detection through improved awareness, early clinical diagnosis, and organized screening (for selected cancer types) are among the key components of cancer control, which, in turn, can lead to a decrease in cancer incidence and mortality in the population. For these interventions to be successful in reducing the cancer burden, efficient and effective implementation with good coverage of the population and quality assurance are essential.
Cancer prevention and early detection are key elements of the research agenda of the Section of Early Detection and Prevention (EDP): elucidating the natural history of cancer; providing scientific evidence on the validity, effectiveness, and cost–effectiveness of prevention, screening, and early diagnosis approaches; catalysing the wider implementation of evidence-based primary and secondary prevention strategies for common cancer types by operational and implementation research; addressing the factors that determine population participation in prevention and early detection programmes; providing technical support in the monitoring and evaluation of national early detection programmes in low- and middle-income countries; developing international networks; and contributing to cancer control in general.
The Section comprises two Groups: the Prevention and Implementation Group (PRI) and the Screening Group (SCR). Research projects are conducted predominantly in low- and middle-income countries, and they focus primarily on the prevention and early detection of cervical, breast, head and neck, lung, stomach, and colorectal cancers.
The Section receives funding from, among others, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA; the Medical Research Council, United Kingdom; the Research Council of Norway; the European Commission; the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC); the WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (HRP/WHO); the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); the WHO Regional Office for Europe; Institut national du Cancer (INCa), France; Cancéropôle Lyon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes (CLARA); and the Center for Global Health (CGH), National Cancer Institute (NCI), USA.