Tuesday April 23, 2019

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, U.S.
Women receive cancer treatment at The National Oncology Center in Sanaa, Yemen. VOA

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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Avoid Smoking During Pregnancy To Prevent Premature Births

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known. 

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The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality. Pixabay

Expecting mothers, take note. As smoking during pregnancy is linked with negative health outcomes, a team of researchers has found that smoking cessation during pregnancy may reduce the risk of pre-term birth.

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy.

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If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation. Pixabay

“Of concern, though, given the substantial benefits of smoking cessation during pregnancy is that the proportion of pre-pregnancy smokers who quit smoking during pregnancy has remained essentially stagnant since 2011,” said lead author Samir Soneji from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in the US.

For the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of more than 25 million pregnant women who gave birth to live neonates during a six-year period — measuring their smoking frequency three months prior to pregnancy and for each trimester during pregnancy.

The negative health impacts of cigarette smoking during pregnancy, including low birth weight, delayed intrauterine development, pre-term birth, infant mortality, and long-term developmental delays, are well known.

But the good news is that the proportion of women who start their pregnancy as smokers has been declining in recent years, the researchers said.

smoking

The findings, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, showed that the probability of pre-term birth decreased with earlier smoking cessation in pregnancy — up to a 20 per cent relative decrease if cessation occurred at the beginning of pregnancy. Pixabay

However, the study also found that only about 25 per cent of women who smoked prior to pregnancy were able to quit throughout their pregnancy, and approximately 50 per cent of women who smoked during their pregnancy did so with high frequency (more than 10 cigarettes per day).

The researcher plans to look at quit rates and smoking intensity and their impact on the risk of infant mortality.

Also Read: How Netflix Binge-Watching Can Lead You The “Mean World Syndrome”

“Thankfully most premature babies end up doing well,” he said.

“But premature birth is strongly linked to infant mortality. If we determine quitting, and quitting early, reduces the risk of infant mortality, then that may speak to mothers even more saliently about the importance of smoking cessation,” he added. (IANS)