The overall goal, “Curb the uprising cancer incidence and mortality by 2022, improve the 5-year overall survival of cancer by 3% over 2015”, has been clear. The timeline is tight and enforcing earlier prevention is critical. To address current weaknesses, we put forward four concrete suggestions:
First, we should strengthen scientific research on cancer prevention at the national level. An increasing number of research findings emphasize that prevention is the most economical and effective method for cancer control (14–16). Non-therapeutic approaches that were neglected before are drawing attention, such as reduce salt intake to prevent gastric cancer and appropriate exercise for cancer prevention. However, current cancer prevention research is not sufficient, so we suggest that the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and other resources give more support for precise individual risk-assessment-based prevention studies, randomized controlled trials, and large-scale cohort studies.
Second, proactive measures should be taken at the national level to strengthen the roles of CDCs and make full use of the CDCs’ four-tier system (national, provincial, municipal, and county). We should strengthen the training of big data analysis and the knowledge and comprehensive skills for cancer prevention and control for public health personnel at all levels. We suggest that CDCs team up with clinicians and set up multidisciplinary teams to work as local cancer prevention technology centers, conduct specific research, and carry out prevention plans, technical paths, and guidelines that consider local conditions. We suggest the establishment of a number of model institutes for health management with a cancer prevention focus and a number of transformation and commercialization platforms for research results to provide more prevention services for local residents.
Third, practical experience gained regionally should be promoted to a nationwide scope. Mobilizing the masses has always been an effective tool in our work, and proven regional models can be expanded to more places, such as the comprehensive cancer prevention and control in the Huai River Basin, in Linxian County of Henan Province, and others. Proven effective measures should be supported by medical insurance policies or essential public health services. Commercial health insurance should also be explored and private capital should be involved. Information technology should be continuously applied to improve monitoring systems so that the assessment of these measures and projects will be more closely monitored.
Fourth, awareness of cancer prevention should be raised for social economic and sustainable development perspectives. Widespread support should be gained domestically and from outside of China. We should explore and develop mobile-technology-based interventions and precise prevention management among high-risk populations, which will lead to the industry evolution. We should reduce cancer-caused poverty by preventing cancer and meeting the health-driven poverty reduction goal. Furthermore, we should work more closely with international parties, share Chinese wisdom of cancer prevention in the international community, participate in the formulation of more international standards and norms, demonstrate our commitment to the community of a shared future for mankind, and take responsibility as a great nation.
Acknowledgement: The author would like to thank postgraduates Biwei Tang, Jia Guo, and Bin Zhang for helping to collect certain part of data.