About 100,000 people are diagnosed with cancer and 50,000 individuals die of cancer each year in Iran. It was estimated that 40% of cancers can be prevented and 40% of the cancers are treatable. Because of the social and financial burden of cancer and the huge number of preventable deaths from cancer, “cancer prevention” is the key strategy for all countries in the globe. “Primary prevention” and “early detection” are two essential pivots of cancer control programs that have been difficult to implement.
The appropriate policies and decisions cannot be made easily or administered quickly in the society. This issue calls for the preparation and coordination of all stakeholders at different levels, and it is almost always impossible to be executed without intersectional cooperation. Continuous evaluation of scientific evidences and adaptation of the recommendations from international organizations along with raising awareness in the society and capacity building in the health care system and health care professionals, and finally allocating sufficient and secure budget are the pillars of cancer prevention.
National cancer research network of Iran (NCRNIR) believes that despite all the limitations and obstacles in Iran, important achievement have been made in the early diagnosis and prevention of cancers during the last 4 years. The noteworthy achievements include:
- Establishment of research and innovation bodies
- Recent evaluation of the national cancer control program and recommendations by international organizations
- Enhancing population based cancer registry in different part of the country
- Demonstration project for screening of cervix, colorectal, and breast
- Supporting early diagnosis through free treatment for cancer patients
- Establishment of the cancer research centers in different provinces
- Running several cancer prevention campaigns by non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
However, it is important that researchers and policy makers share the local evidences, experiences and guidelines and criticize them in a well-planned, systematic and effective manners. No doubt, this is the major reason for holding the present congress at the beginning of this year, along with the world cancer day 2017. This creates an opportunity to, as a member of the international community, run population base awareness campaign for cancer prevention and early detection.
In line with the mission of National Cancer Research Network, we attempt to connect the domains of innovation and research to the atmosphere of policy and actions relevant to the major pivots of cancer control, and encourage researchers and experts to realistically present their achievements and create a reasonable platform for scientific discussions on the achievements and future plan. The knowledge gained from this event may pave the way for future research to fill the scientific gaps and help the policy makers realize the gaps and update the cancer plan.
In order to hold this congress successfully and effectively the major topics of the congress areas have been selected by specialized working groups with the cooperation of all the volunteers to participate in the panel discussions and fulfill the aims of the congress. The secretariat is planned to prepare the discussion in advance through pre-congress discussion and communications.
I am optimistic that this event will succeed to achieve its goal and all the stakeholders will gain from the presentations and discussions during the congress. Therefore, I would like to send our warm invitation to all the stakeholders and scientific communities contribute to this event and bring their ideas, evidences, and results for warm discussion during the conference. I am looking forward to experiencing an innovative and informative congress that will have a lot of useful messages for all of us.
DR. KAZEM ZENDEHDEL, MD, PHD
SCIENTIFIC SECRETARY OF NATIONAL CANCER RESEARCH NETWORK OF IRAN
AND SCIENTIFIC DIRECTOR OF THE CONGRESS