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Cancer prevention in primary care. Current trends and some prospects for the future--1.

By J. Austoker


Cancer control encompasses the whole spectrum from prevention and early diagnosis to treatment and palliation. The key to the future of cancer control will be to establish multidisciplinary approaches to each type of cancer across this spectrum. For primary prevention this requires some understanding of the causes of each cancer. Although understanding of the aetiology of cancer has greatly improved, prospects for the primary prevention of many common cancers remain remote. Other approaches currently under evaluation include chemoprevention and the use of biomarkers. The identification of predisposing genes for some of the common cancers may have a considerable impact on the ability to recognise those at risk. Overall, however, mortality trends indicate that reduction of smoking remains the main priority for cancer prevention in the United Kingdom. For primary care teams, brief interventions to reduce smoking are likely to achieve the greatest benefit. This should be seen as part of broader policies aimed at achieving change in the whole population. The government must acknowledge its major responsibility to cancer prevention by banning all forms of advertising and promotion of tobacco

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: BMJ Group
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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