Cancer research for cancer prevention

Over the course of this century, cancer will become the leading cause of premature death worldwide. So how is the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) working towards “a world where fewer people develop cancer?”

Over this century, cancer is set to become the leading cause of premature death worldwide, being the biggest barrier to increasing life expectancy.

IRAC estimates that the global cancer burden will rise from 19.3 million new cases in 2020 to 30.2 million in 2040. This is despite up to half of all cancer cases being avoidable. This rise will disproportionately impact low-and middle-income countries with a low Human Development Index.

To combat this impending personal, societal, and economic loss, prevention is vital to tackling the cancer epidemic.

The concept of cancer prevention hinges on several factors including describing the burden, identifying risk factors, and evaluating and implementing preventive interventions. It also must reflect that most cancers are, directly or indirectly, linked to environmental factors.

In this lecture, Dr Weiderpass will illustrate the great potential of prevention to invert the predicted trends in the future global cancer burden to reflect her vision of: “a world where fewer people develop cancer”.


Elisabete Weiderpass Vainio posing for the camera


Dr Elisabete Weiderpass

Director, International Agency for Research on Cancer

Elisabete Weiderpass, MD, MSc, PhD, is an expert in cancer epidemiology and cancer prevention. She is the Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Chair to be announced soon.

The Scottish Cancer Foundation

The Scottish Cancer Foundation was founded by two dedicated Cancer Researchers, Professor Sir Patrick Forrest, and Professor John Evans CBE, in 1997.

Their vision was to create a charity that would facilitate research aimed at addressing the high incidence of cancer in Scotland, and the poor outcomes in patients who develop the disease. Although there have been many improvements, a lot of work is still required, as cancer remains one of the major causes of premature death in the Scottish population.

In partnership with
  • Scottish Cancer Foundation logo


Friday December 1st, 2023 18:00-19:30


The Royal Society of Edinburgh