National cancer control programmes: Pre-planning

Is a plan needed?

There is no country in the world where cancer does not occur. Even in low-resource countries, some level of cancer control activities are going on. Effective cancer control plans are needed everywhere.

Who can advocate for it?

Change will be unlikely in the absence of external stimuli. National and international organizations can act as triggers for change by influencing decision-makers in countries.

To trigger change in a country or region, leaders with decision-making authority need to be identified and prompted to take action. Decision-makers can be reassured that a cancer control plan will not create a costly vertical programme, but will be integrated with noncommunicable diseases other related programmes and make better use of available resources.

How to draw up a strategic plan?

If national leaders decide to create a new or updated cancer control plan then the cancer control planning process can start. A broad participatory process that involves key stakeholders from the beginning is central to the development and implementation of an effective cancer control plan.