GlobalHealthAfrica

Prevention is Key to Decreasing Cancer Mortality in Africa

In NCDs on February 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Cancer pic                                            Image credit: Jake Lyell Video Production/Photography 

For many young women, identifying a lump during a breast self-exam can be terrifying. The thought of cancer strikes fear in the heart of many and unfortunately, it appears to be on the rise according to the recently released World Cancer Report 2014. In 2012 alone, there were 14 million new cancer cases and this number is expected to rise to 22 million in 20 years.

Dr Christopher Wild, Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and a co-editor of the report, stressed the need for a greater focus on “prevention and early detection to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in the global cancer burden”.

In 2012, lung, liver and stomach cancers were the leading causes of cancer deaths with Africa, Asia, Central and South America accounting for 70% of these deaths. Inadequate infrastructure for early detection and treatment is often the culprit for these tragedies.

The report suggests strategies for prevention of cancers and cancer deaths in developing countries such as vaccinations against hepatitis B and human papillomavirus to combat cancers of the liver and the cervix, legislation and health promotion activities to prevent tobacco use, promotion of physical activity, and application of low-technology approaches for cancer detection.

Read the IARC Press Release here

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