Greater focus needed on cancer prevention

While it’s important to develop new therapies to treat cancer, it’s just as important to make progress in cancer prevention and early detection, according to David Hunter, Vincent L. Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention and Dean for Academic Affairs at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“Treatments are, of course, of paramount importance to anyone diagnosed with cancer, but from a national of global perspective, there should be more investment in preventing cancer,” Hunter wrote in an April 9, 2015 op-ed in the Boston Globe. He said that the recent PBS Series “The Emperor of All Maladies” did an excellent job chronicling the mechanisms of cancer and progress in treatments for the disease, but “gave short shrift” to prevention. As the show itself noted, “more than 50 percent of cancers worldwide are thought to be preventable,” Hunter wrote.

“The continued and necessary focus on improving the treatment of cancer, and the dazzling science behind this, should not blind us to the potential for cancer prevention, or distract us from the scaling up of relatively simple early detection solutions that have been available for decades,” he wrote.

Read David Hunter’s op-ed in the Boston Globe: ‘The Emperor of All Maladies’ ignores a big piece of the story

Most cancers just not ‘bad luck’ (Harvard Chan news)