Thursday December 13, 2018

Deaths Due to Cancer Increases To More Than 18 Mn Every Year: WHO

Krug said the survival rates of people stricken with cancer could be increased by strengthening health services, improving early diagnosis.

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Cancers
Women receive cancer treatment at The National Oncology Center in Sanaa, Yemen. VOA
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New data show a significant increase in the incidence of global cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancers, part of the World Health Organization, estimates a rise in new cases of cancer to more than 18 million, including 9.6 million deaths this year.

The report that covers 36 types of cancer in185 countries, finds one in five men and one in six women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime and more men than women die of the disease. It says nearly half of the new cases and more than half of cancer deaths this year occurred in Asia, in part because nearly 60 percent of the global population lives there.

The data show lung and breast cancers, followed by colorectal, prostate, and stomach cancers, are responsible for the highest numbers of new cases globally. It cites lung cancer as the leading cause of death, accounting for 1.8 million deaths in 2018.

 

Cancers
Diakite, 46, looks out the window after her annual check up with Dr. Abdoul Aziz Kasse at the Clinique des Mamelles in Dakar, Senegal on July 13, 2017. Diakite has successfully recovered from cervical cancer thanks to Dr. Kasse and yearly checks. VOA

 

International Agency for Research on Cancer head of Surveillance Freddie Bray says by 2040, the number of new cancer cases is projected to rise to 29.3 million and the number of deaths to 16.3 million.

 

“The biggest increases in the cancer burden, a doubling of the cancer burden to 2040, is going to occur in countries at the lowest levels of socio-economic development,” Bray said. “Some in Sub-Saharan Africa, some in South America, some in southern Asia. But there the countries faced with this increasing cancer burden are presently ill-equipped to deal with this pending increase.”

Etienne Krug is director of the World Health Organization’s Department of Non-Communicable Diseases. He says many of the main cancer risks killing people can be prevented by cutting down on tobacco and alcohol consumption, exercising more and eating better.

Cancers
British Prime Minister Theresa May, right, is shown the advanced radiotherapy system during a visit to announce new funding and research into prostate cancer, at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. VOA

“And we also could do a lot by increasing immunization against some cancers like cervical cancer and liver cancers, for example,” Krug said. “But for those who have cancer, cancer should not be a death sentence anymore.”

Also Read: Exercising Too Little Puts Your Health At Risk: WHO

Krug said the survival rates of people stricken with cancer could be increased by strengthening health services, improving early diagnosis, and providing access to proper treatment. He added palliative care should be given to terminally ill patients to ease their suffering. (VOA)

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Road Traffic Accidents Cause 1.35 Mn Deaths Each Year: WHO

WHO noted that 48 middle- and high-income countries that have implemented strong road traffic laws and other safety measures have made progress in reducing road deaths.

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Traffic Crashes, Road Traffic
Two bikes were involved in an accident with a bus that crashed and turned on its roof near the town of Franschhoek, South Africa, March 7, 2015. VOA

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for urgent action to put a brake on road traffic crashes that kill 1.35 million people every year, mostly in poor developing countries.

In Geneva, the U.N. agency launched its global status report on road safety 2018.

The report found road traffic injuries to be the leading killer of children and young people aged five to 29 years, with a death occurring every 24 seconds. The report said more than half of those killed are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders and passengers.

Etienne Krug, head of the U.N. Agency’s Department on Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, called these deaths a huge inequality issue.

Traffic Signals, Road Traffic
Traffic and congestion on roads is frequent in all cities of India. Wikimedia

“Low-income countries have one percent of the vehicles in the world and 13 percent of all the deaths; while high-income countries have 40 percent of all the vehicles,” Krug said. “So, that is 40 times more, but only seven percent of the deaths.That is half of the deaths with 40 times more vehicles.”

The report said death rates are highest in Africa and lowest in Europe. Some of the key risk factors include speeding, drinking and driving, and failure to use seat belts, motorcycle helmets and child restraints.

Krug said putting the right measures in place will save lives. These include the right legislation and enforcement, creating special lanes for cyclists and improving the quality of vehicles.

Road accidents in India
Road accidents in India. Pixabay

“It is not acceptable that vehicles are being sold in developing countries that look the same as the vehicles that we see here in Switzerland or the U.S. or anywhere else, but that are not,” Krug told VOA. “Because to make them cheaper, they have been stripped of all of their safety features, such as air bags or electronic stability control, etc.”

WHO noted that 48 middle- and high-income countries that have implemented strong road traffic laws and other safety measures have made progress in reducing road deaths.

Also Read: HIV Epidemic Spreading Rapidly in Pakistan: WHO

However, it said no such progress has been made in low-income countries where safety measures are lacking. (VOA)