On the occasion of World Cancer Day on February 4, the World Health Organization warned that if current trends continue, the number of cancer cases in the world will increase by 60 percent over the next 20 years,media reported. ACCORDING TO WHO, LOW- AND MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES HAVE HAD TO FOCUS LIMITED HEALTH RESOURCES ON THE FIGHT AGAINST INFECTIOUS DISEASES AND IMPROVING MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH, AND THEIR HEALTH FACILITIES OFTEN LACK THE CAPACITY TO PREVENT, DIAGNOSE AND TREAT CANCER.
In 2019, more than 90 per cent of high-income countries reported that their public health systems provided integrated cancer treatment services, while only 15 per cent of low-income countries did.
“This is a wake-up call for all of us to address unacceptable inequalities in cancer services between rich and poor countries,” said Dr. Minghui Ren, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Universal Health Coverage/Communicable And Noncommunicable Diseases. If people have access to primary health care and referral systems, cancer can be detected, effectively treated and cured early. Cancer should not die anywhere, no one. “
WHO says progress can be made in poor countries. WHO and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have issued two reports on World Cancer Day this year, which provide further research on opportunities to improve cancer control and policies and programmes that can be implemented, as requested by governments.
WHO has proposed a range of proven interventions to prevent new cases of cancer. These measures include tobacco control (smoking causes 25 per cent of cancer deaths), hepatitis B vaccination against liver cancer, elimination of cervical cancer through HPV vaccination, screening and treatment, effective and cost-effective cancer management measures and ensuring that cancer patients receive palliative care, including pain relief.