2019 World Cancer Day: 17 people die every minute from cancer – WHO
Today is world cancer day. World Cancer Day, organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and celebrated each year on 4 February, is an opportunity to rally the international community to end the injustice of preventable suffering from cancer.
This year’s theme, “I can, we can” acknowledges that everyone has the capacity to address the cancer burden.
It also recognises the fact that we can work together to reduce cancer risk factors, and overcome barriers to early diagnosis, treatment and palliative care.
Nigeria is still lagging behind in the rate of survival. This is due to many factors such as late detection, misdiagnosis, lack of medical expertise to treat patients, lack of chemotherapy facilities or radiotherapy machines, high cost of cancer management, little financial support from government and low awareness of the disease.
Although there has been no concrete evidence on what causes/triggers the disease, some predisposing factors such as smoking, unhealthy lifestyle, drinking of alcohol, air pollution, exposure to excessive radiation, viruses, genetic/hereditary factors among others have been pointed out.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 24.6 million people live with cancer worldwide and at least 17 people die every minute from cancer.
About 12.5 per cent of all deaths are attributable to cancer. It is estimated that by 2020, 16 million new cases will be diagnosed per annum out of which 70 per cent will be in the developing countries.