Asia Cancer Forum
Based on the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to share in scientific advancement and its benefits equally, with the aim of overcoming the common challenges relating to cancer that are faced by humanity, and linking it to a human context in the Asian region, the Asia Cancer Forum has been engaged in efforts to gather “3Cs—Collective, Contextual, and Continuous—Intelligence,” following the establishment of the Framework for Cancer Information Network in Asia, which we have advocated since 2004. In 2009, the 20th Asia Pacific Cancer Conference was held in Tsukuba, Japan, which marked the internationalization of forum and an expansion in its activities.
In recent times global focus on disease structures has tended to shift from infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases, with a particular focus on cancer that continues to increase in severity. Therefore we aim to place cancer on the global health agenda, based on the conviction that cancer is one of the largest common challenges for humanity and as such deserves a place on the global health agenda. For that purpose it is essential to implement studies on cancer in the Asian region with broad and diversified perspectives, and also to undertake a role in enhancement of organic linkage for “social capital investment and construction of information that should be included in international health and medical collaboration in the future”, including but not limited to medical cooperation. These are the fundamental objectives and endeavours of the Asia Cancer Forum.
In order to serve the objectives of establishing an international multi-disciplinary cooperation network regarding collection and utilization of cancer information, and promoting commitment to activities for moving cancer up the global health agenda, and also contributing to improving cancer treatment in Asia, the Forum engages in the following activities:
- Affirm the critical importance of placing cancer on the global health agenda as a means of further promoting concerted global action.
- Will continue to conduct research among experts on their perceptions of the current situation concerning the positioning of cancer on the global health agenda, seeking to share a common philosophy on global health and enhance cooperation in the field of global health.
- Will create a new approach by proposing lifestyle changes aimed at preventing cancer that take into consideration historical and cultural diversity.
- Will actively provide scientific and technological assistance that enable clinical trials to be conducted in both industrialized and developing countries and aim to act as a bridge between the industrialized and developing world in the field of cancer research.
- Will seek to create multidisciplinary educational programs that combine humanities and sciences and launch Global Collaborative Cancer Studies, for the purpose of overcoming health disparities among different countries and regions and building mutually complementary long-term partnerships.
- Encourage cooperation and collaboration among Asian federations that are engaged in efforts to promote the treatment of cancer.
Other activities may be required for the Forum to be able to achieve its purpose.
Links to the health workforce crisis
Under the current situation where international health issues have been complicated by entangled elements of socio-economy and diplomatic policy, the absence of functions to collect and analyze information with an immediate response is another big factor affecting why cancer has not yet been positioned as a global health agenda. It is therefore important for us to collect appropriate information in a timely manner and then create a system that would enable us to share information with a wider community. Towards this goal we are implementing or planning the following projects.
- University-wide Graduate School Education Program 2011: Japan-Asian Studies Program “Surviving Cancer in Asia” given by Prof Hideyuki Akaza, the University of Tokyo
- Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA) Grass Roots Project: “Comprehensive Improvement on Health and Lifestyle for Communities in China through Education for Preventing Lifestyle-related Diseases”
- We aim to develop multi-disciplinary educational programs involving a combination of the humanities and science, for the purpose of establishing long-term mutually complementary partnerships among universities both in developed and developing countries.
- We aim to propose new programs through the Alliance channels for the purpose of the “Establishment of a cancer information sharing system in the global community”.
The Forum believes it to be important to enhance the role played by universities and also hopes that health professionals themselves will become central members of an information sharing network given the fact that they possess cancer information including patient information. We strongly hope to develop close partnership with GHWA, a key pillar in the field of global health workforce development.