Cancer is a dreaded public health threat, claiming millions of lives annually. According to World Health Organization (WHO) 2018 report, 9.6 million people died of cancer globally. This shocking figure calls for serious and urgent concern. It is therefore crucial to understand the basic facts about cancer.
1. Do you know that cancer is an abnormal and unrestrained growth of cells in the body or tissue?
2. Do you know that cancer is among the leading cause of death globally?
3. Do you that cancer can affect any part of the human body?
4. Do you know that there are over 200 types of cancer?
5. Do you know that lung, liver, stomach, prostate and colorectal cancer are the prominent common types of cancer among men?
6. Do you know that breast, lung, colorectal, cervical and stomach cancer are the prominent common types of cancer among women?
7. Do you know that one-third of cancer deaths are due to the five behavioural and dietary risks? These include high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, physical inactivity, tobacco, alcohol and are therefore preventable.
8. Do you know that infections such as HBV/HCV and HPV are responsible for up to 25% of cancer cases in low- and middle-income countries?
9. Do you know that over 60% of the world’s total new annual cases of cancer occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America?
10. Do you know that about 70% of the world’s cancer deaths occur in low- and medium-income countries?
11. Do you know that 30 -50 % of cancer is preventable?
12. Do you know that approximately 22% of all cancer death is linked to tobacco use?
13. Do you know that access to cancer treatment services is still low in low-income countries
14. Do you know that only 14% of people who need palliative care currently receive it?
15. Do you know that only one in every five low-middle-income countries have necessary data to drive cancer policy?
All hands must be on deck to avert the widespread of diseases as prevention remains the best form of treatment. There is also need to create more cancer screening centres, raise awareness on cancer prevention and the need for people to get screened of cancer, allocation of more funds to fight cancer, and declare a state of emergency on cancer.
By David Arome
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