The broad ethnic and climatic diversity of Sudan makes it in many ways a microcosm of Africa. Sudan is experiencing a burgeoning cancer epidemic that carries many challenges that are characteristic of developing countries. These include a high incidence of advanced, difficult-to-treat disease at presentation, and a high cancer burden that is related to infectious diseases. To address this problem, Sudan has instituted a comprehensive national cancer control programme which is focused on prevention, early detection, improved treatment and palliative care. This programme focuses on three common cancers for which effective prevention, screening and treatments are available; breast, cervical and oral cancer. This article describes some preventive approaches through public awareness campaigns and education of medical professionals, and screening programmes that are being instituted in Sudan. Sudan provides an example of how the implementation of a comprehensive and carefully planned national cancer control programme in a very low-resource setting can improve the lives of cancer patients.