MILLIONS DYING OF CANCER-WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) says each year, 8.8 million people
die from cancer mostly in low and middle-income countries and that many
of these cases are diagnosed at late stages, when they are harder to
WHO's new guidance focuses on diagnosing cancer early to improve the
chances of successful treatment for people living with the disease.
According to a press statement released by the WHO's Communications
Officer, Mr. Paul Garwood, the new guidance launched ahead of World
Cancer Day commemorated annually on February 4 aims to improve the
chances of survival for people living with cancer by ensuring that
health services can focus on diagnosing treating the disease earlier.
To this effect themed 'Early Cancer Diagnosis Saves Lives, Cuts
Treatment Costs', the 2017 World Cancer Day has the WHO revealing new
figures released this week indicating that each year 8.8 million people
die from cancer, mostly in low- and middle-income countries and as well
as that even in countries with optimal health systems and services, many
cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage when they are harder to
treat successfully hence condemning many people to unnecessary suffering
and early death.
'By taking the steps to implement WHO’s new guidance, healthcare
planners can improve early diagnosis of cancer and ensure prompt
treatment, especially for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. This
will result in more people surviving cancer. It will also be less
expensive to treat and cure cancer patients,' reads the press statement,
It further states that all countries can take steps
to improve early diagnosis of cancer, which according to the WHO's new
guide to cancer, early diagnosis has the potential to improve public
awareness of different cancer symptoms and encourage people to seek care
when these arise.
One other benefit is said to be investing in strengthening and equipping
health services and training health workers so they can conduct accurate
and timely diagnostic and ensuring people living with cancer can access
safe and effective treatment including pain relief without incurring
prohibitive personal or financial hardship.
However, challenges are said to be clearly greater in low and middle
income countries which have lower abilities to provide access to
effective diagnostic services including imaging, laboratory tests and
pathology, all which are said to be key in helping detect cancers and
plan treatment while countries are said to also currently have different
capacities to refer cancer patients to the appropriate level of care.
Meanwhile, WHO encourages these countries to prioritize basic,
high-impact and low-cost cancer diagnosis and treatment services.
The Organization also recommends reducing the need for people to pay for
care out of their own pockets, which prevents many from seeking help in
the first place.
World Cancer Day commemorated annually on February
4 aims to improve the chances of survival for people living with cancer
by ensuring that health services can focus on diagnosing treating the
Source: LENA 04/02/2017