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President's Cancer Panel Issues 2007-2008 Report

Panelists say confluence of trends is contributing to an escalating burden of cancer nationwide

FRIDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Comprehensive strategies are needed to reduce the nation's burden of cancer mortality and morbidity, according to "Maximizing Our Nation's Investment in Cancer: Three Crucial Actions for America's Health," the President's Cancer Panel 2007-2008 Annual Report published Oct. 23 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, and the National Cancer Institute.

LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr., M.D., of the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and colleagues convened four roundtable meetings between September 2007 and January 2008 with nearly 40 experts from government, industry, the advocacy community, clinical medicine, cancer research, health policy analysis, epidemiology, economics, insurance, public health and journalism.

In their Executive Summary, the authors cited "a troubling confluence of trends," such as a declining cancer research budget; insufficient collaboration between government, volunteer organizations, industry, and academia; an aging and increasingly sedentary population; a dysfunctional health care system; and the erosion of public and private health care coverage.

"The President's Cancer Panel believes three crucial actions must be taken to achieve substantial and more rapid reductions in cancer mortality and morbidity," the report indicates. These recommendations are: preventing and treating cancer must become a national priority; all Americans must have timely access to needed health care and prevention measures; and the scourge of tobacco in America must end.

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