This World Cancer Day, we are excited to launch the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer’s new Strategic Plan for 2018-2022.
Last World Cancer Day, we marked the McCabe Centre’s fifth birthday. It was a time to celebrate the achievements of our first five years, to reflect on what we had done and what we had learned, and to think about who we wanted to be and what we wanted to do in the years ahead.
To help us chart the course for our next phase, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)—delighted with all we had achieved in our first five years—undertook a strategic review to address the question How can the work of the McCabe Centre be leveraged internationally to support UICC in its strategic ambition?
The review, which included over 30 stakeholder interviews covering key international organisations, governments, funders, and participants in our training and capacity-building programs, concluded that:
In five years the Centre has established an international reputation as a unique global resource in the effective use of the law for cancer control. It was described as a unique hybrid. It has the excellence in research and teaching of an academic institution but its work and value extends beyond an academic institution by providing a bridge to practical application of this knowledge into policy development, legislation and regulation. The Centre translates evidence into practice in ways that people find both useful and easy to understand.
The review gave us a wide range of invaluable insights, which helped us understand better how our stakeholders think about us, how you see our work benefiting you, and how we can do what we do even more effectively and for greater impact.
The insights gathered through the review, and the conversations we have had since, together with Cancer Council Victoria, UICC, and Cancer Council Australia have richly informed our thinking and the development of our new Strategic Plan.
Our new Strategic Plan emphasises why the law is so important to addressing the health, social and economic impacts of cancer.
Cancer is now the second leading cause of mortality globally. In 2015 there were approximately 8.8 million cancer deaths and 14.1 million new cancer cases. This figure is forecast to increase significantly to 21.6 million new cases per year by 2030. The greatest increases in cancer cases are expected in low- and middle-income countries where approximately 70% of cancer deaths already occur, predominantly amongst working-age populations, and where health systems are least equipped to respond to the growing number of patients. The economic cost of cancer had reached US$1.16 trillion annually by 2010.
The effective use of law is essential for the global community to meet all of these challenges. The exposure of individuals and communities to risk factors for cancer and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), the availability and accessibility of health services, treatments and technologies, the use of health information, the conduct of health research, and the experiences and outcomes of people affected by cancer and other NCDs are all powerfully influenced by international, regional and domestic laws and legal frameworks.
We see law, when conceived, developed and implemented well, as one of the most powerful enablers of good health, at domestic, regional and global levels.
Our new Strategic Plan:
Our vision: A world free from preventable cancers and in which all people affected by cancer have equitable access to safe, effective and affordable cancer treatment and care
Our mission: To promote the effective use of law for the prevention and control of cancer and other noncommunicable diseases by building knowledge, expertise, capacity and networks at global, regional and domestic levels
- articulates our values, goals and strengths
- explains the content of our work, the way we perform it, and our main plans for the next 5 years, and
- identifies the main groups that benefit from our work
The Strategic Plan demonstrates the breadth of our work across prevention (primarily tobacco, obesity and overweight, and alcohol); the availability of treatments and services, support for medical treatment decisions, regulation of health practitioners, health information, and protection of the rights of people affected by cancer; and in making connections across areas of law and governance such as health, trade, investment, sustainable development and human rights.
It also reflects our new institutional arrangements. We are delighted to have Cancer Council Australia joining Cancer Council Victoria and UICC as one of our strategic partners.
The theme of World Cancer Day is We can. I can—highlighting how everyone can take action to reduce the global burden of cancer.
We encourage you to read our new Strategic Plan, and to think about how our work can benefit you and your organisations, and how we can continue to work together in the most powerful way.
Working together, we really can make a difference.