The United Nation health agency raised a warning on Tuesday; lack of investment in prevention and care would raise the cancer cases by 81% in low and middle-income countries by 2040.
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In a report, WHO said these countries had their limited resources worked on combating infectious diseases and improving maternal and child health. Not for fighting cancer. However, they often had the highest cancer mortality too.
Ren Minghui, a WHO assistant director-general said in the same report, “This is a wake-up call to all of us to tackle the unacceptable inequalities between cancer services in rich and poor countries.”
He said, “If people have access to primary care and referral systems then cancer can be detected early, treated effectively and cured. Cancer should not be a death sentence for anyone, anywhere.”
The report coincided with World Cancer Day saying an investment of $25 billion (23 billion euros) over the next decade could save seven million lives from cancer.
Andre Ilbawi of WHO’s department for management of non-communicable diseases said, “Controlling cancer does not have to be expensive.”
The world will see a 61% increment in cancer cases by 2040 where tobacco use will be responsible for 25 % of deaths according to the annual report.
The director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Elisabete Weiderpass who works with WHO said there is a 20% drop in mortality between 2000 and 2015 as a result of better cancer treatment in high-income countries.
However, in poorer countries, the drop was only 5%.
Elisabete Weiderpass added, “We need to see everyone benefiting equally.”
The reports said the cancer was considered a disease of wealthy countries, not any longer though. The report pins, one in five people worldwide would face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.
Ren Minghui added, “It’s a global burden.”
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