Environmental and occupational determinants of cancer: Interventions for primary prevention

In order to galvanize action to tackle known and preventable causes of cancer, the World Health Organization is organizing a conference addressing the environmental and occupational determinants of cancer. The international gathering on 17-18 March 2011 will put the spotlight on interventions for primary prevention.  Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, causing 12.7 million new cases and 7.6 million deaths in 2008. Worldwide, roughly 19 per cent of all cancers are estimated to be attributable to the environment, including work settings, resulting in 1.3 million deaths each year. Decreasing exposure to carcinogens reduces health care costs, and contributes to the overall well-being of communities. Environmental and occupational interventions are critical to achieving a reduction in the incidence of cancer.  The two-day conference is expected to adopt the Asturias Pledge: Call to Action to strengthen prevention of environmental and occupational cancers within the framework of comprehensive cancer control programmes. The provisional agenda, second announcement and flyer are now available.