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Key Messages
  • Cancer is a poverty issue. Poor people are more likely to die from cancer, and a cancer diagnosis can push households into poverty. Cancer prevention interventions, such as tobacco taxes and HPV vaccinations, are pro-poor, providing relatively larger benefits to low-income households. 

  • Cancer is a major cause of premature death in LMICs, and its significance will undoubtedly grow as countries experience epidemiological and demographic transitions. 

  • Excise taxes on tobacco ($1-$150/DALY averted) and hepatitis B vaccination (<$100/DALY averted) are the most cost effective interventions against cancer. 

  • The DCP3 essential package of cost-effective and feasible interventions would, if fully implemented, cost an additional $20 billion per year, or 3 percent  of total public spending on health in LMICs; 2.6 percent in upper-middle-income countries (UMICs); and 5 percent in lower-middle-income countries; but 13 percent in low-income countries (LICs).
  • Global initiatives for cancer control in LMICs are needed to lower the costs of key inputs for the essential package, including large-scale commodity purchases; to expand technical assistance; and to promote cancer research.