Cancer’s causes neglected

May 22, 2014

You report that cancer survival rates and expenditure on cancer research in the UK are both rising (“Survival rates up. Funding up. Hopes up”, Research Intelligence, 8 May), but fail to mention that the incidence of cancer has also risen – by 3 per cent in men and 7 per cent in women between 2000-02 and 2009‑11 (Cancer Research UK data, 2014).

So it is all the more surprising that expenditure on research into prevention represents only 3.6 per cent of total cancer research expenditure in the UK, while research on the causes of cancer has actually fallen, from 16.4 per cent to 9.2 per cent of the total between 2002 and 2011 (National Cancer Research Institute data). Within this figure, the steepest fall is in research into “exogenous factors in the origin and cause of cancer”, that is, environmental and occupational exposures. Research into the causes and prevention of cancer forms just a minor part of CRUK’s new research strategy, with no mention of research into potential causes such as pesticides and other chemical agents.

If prevention is better than cure, which in the case of cancer is surely true, are we getting our priorities right?

Paul Probyn
Cockfosters

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

PhD Scholar in Medicine

University Of Queensland

Manager, Research Systems and Performance

Auckland University Of Technology

Lecturer in Aboriginal Allied Health

University Of South Australia

Lecturer, School of Nursing & Midwifery

Western Sydney University

College General Manager, SHE

La Trobe University
See all jobs

Most Viewed

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi