We have seen major cancers declining in the last century in Western countries but overall the success is partial and new threats are emerging. Of course we would like to end ECP someday when all cancers could be efficiently prevented. But this is not going to happen.
There is a clear need to watch the registries and how they evolve. In general, cancer incidence should continue to decline in all parts of the world. And here is the first challenge, developing countries seem to go to the same cancer increase as the developed countries did in the last century. This has to be prevented. So the first goal is to concentrate on these countries where we see an increase in some types of cancer.
The second goal is to continue prevention programs and promote healthy lifestyles. In areas where there is a good screening, mortality drops. Even for breast cancer and despite the controversies in screening methods, there is strong evidence that secondary prevention is efficacious and that there is much room for improvement. I’m thinking of better endoscopic screening, newer imaging tools, better selection through taking into account of polymorphisms, introduction of molecular biology, more patient friendly tissue harvesting etc.
Since the founding of ECP in 1982 the Society has been through many storms but has survived many times and is the now the oldest Society entirely devoted to cancer prevention with strong credentials and great ambition.