What makes a good National Cancer Control Plan? 

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines NCCPs as “public health programmes designed to reduce cancer incidence and mortality and improve the quality of life of cancer patients, through the systematic and equitable implementation of evidence-based strategies for prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and palliation, making the best use of available resources”.

A number of elements are central to developing a comprehensive NCCP that meets the current and future health needs of a country’s cancer burden: 

  • Consider the whole continuum of care: prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, palliation and research.
  • Adopt a health systems approach that sets out governance arrangements, resource allocation and financing around measurable goals to support a country’s cancer control efforts.
  • Provide a sustainable strategic plan for cancer control, based on the country’s cancer burden, cancer risk factor prevalence and the resources available to implement the plan.
  • Take into account the socioeconomic environment and healthcare system in the country. 
  • Ensure the involvement of multisector stakeholders to set realistic objectives that respond to the population’s cancer needs.
  • Develop an evidence-based approach - the availability of reliable cancer surveillance data, including cancer incidence, stage at diagnosis and mortality, generated by population-based cancer registries is vital for developing targeted and effective NCCPs and for evaluating the impact of national programmes. 


Policy Brief: The Foundational Elements of National Cancer Control Plan Development and Implementation

The policy brief explains the foundational elemenents of National Cancerl Control Plan Development and Implementation including scope, best practices, essential elements, the importance of partnership and multisectoral approach, among others.

The Policy Brief can be accessed here. 

The NCCP Toolkit 

This toolkit has been put together to help cancer leagues and other CSOs developing or considering the development of a national cancer control plan in support of government efforts and in the context of a national health plan. The ideas and tools it contains are based on the experiences of those who have already developed cancer control plans and are now implementing them. Its aim is to provide individuals involved in the process with an overview of cancer control planning, issues to be taken into consideration and tools to help start or enhance existing efforts. Selected references for more detailed information are also provided.

The toolkit is designed around five key questions that cover all of the major elements of a good cancer control plan:

  1. What is the country’s cancer picture?
  2. Who can help develop and implement a cancer control plan?
  3. What will be included in the plan?
  4. How will the plan be implemented and communicated?
  5. What is a successful plan?

It is useful to start by completing the “Before you begin” checklist, and then refer to the individual sections for each of the key questions above.

Cancer Control Knowledge into Action: WHO Guide for Effective Programmes - Planning

This WHO tool addresses basic aspects of planning, and discusses how to determine whether a plan is needed and, if so, how to draw up a strategic plan. It belong to a series of six modules that provides practical advice for programme managers and policy-makers on how to advocate, plan and implement effective cancer control programmes, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Access Cancer Control Knowledge into Action: WHO Guide for Effective Programmes - Planning

National Cancer Control Plan Development and Implementation Assessment Tool

The tool is meant to engage key stakeholders in a thoughtful discussion of essential elements of developing and implementing a country’s national cancer control plan. It may assist in identifying areas for enhancement, improvement, or shed light on reasons for challenges that have been encountered. 

This Assessment Tool identifies the critical elements of 1) preparing to develop a national cancer plan, 2) developing a national cancer plan, 3) implementing a national cancer plan, 4) evaluating the implementation of the national cancer plan, and 5) updating a national cancer plan. 

Access the National Cancer Control Plan Development and Implementation Assessment Tool.