In Western countries, the rates of cancer and the rates of mortality from cancer have increased significantly over the years. Since 1981, for instance, the overall incidence of cancer has increased by 18%, and mortality by 7%. Earlier diagnosis and better treatment methods have not been able to prevent an increase in mortalities. Hence, an emphasis should be placed on preventing (the likelihood of) cancer from developing. Cancer rates vary by factors as high as 30 among countries, and fivefold within, and between industrialized countries because of parallel differences in environmental carcinogens and lifestyle habits. A good example of taking preventative action would be to stop smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Tar from cigarettes can substantially increase the consumer's chances of developing lung cancer.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.