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41, 000 Nigerians die of cancer in 2018— WHO



41, 000 Nigerians die of cancer in 2018--- WHO

Matshidiso Moeti


No fewer that 41,000 people have died of cancer related infections in Nigeria in 2018, the World Health Organization has said.

WHO added that about 116,000 new cancer cases was also recorded in the year under review, ROYAL NEWS has gathered. The Regional Director of WHO, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, disclosed this on the occasion of the World Cancer Day 2019 in Abuja on Monday.
She also called on stakeholders to address the current inadequate access to cancer diagnostics and therapies, lack of knowledge on cancer and low health literacy levels, culturally inappropriate cancer prevention materials, mistrust of the health care system and fatalism regarding cancer cure.
With the theme: “I am and I will”, the Director  noted that the event was chosen as a reminder of the important actions that is needed to take as individuals, groups, communities and political leaders, to reduce the impact of cancer on lives.
According tom her, “Cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. New cases and deaths from cancer continue to rise. In 2012, there were 14 million new cases and 8.2 million deaths, whereas in 2018 there were 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths. If current trends are maintained, the cancer burden in Africa is projected to double from 1,055,172 new cancer cases in 2018 to 2,123,245 cancer cases by 2040.”
Moeti further noted that among the most important serious challenges facing cancer patients in most African countries are poverty, late and poor cancer diagnosis and lack of medical cover.
“The key drivers of the increasing cancer burden in Africa include increasing exposure to known cancer risk factors, such as tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diets, alcohol use and environmental pollution.
“Additional contributing factors in the rise of the cancer burden in Africa are the epidemiologic and demographic changes that are currently taking place. In short, the cancer burden is increasing as Africans are now living longer, in large part because of improvements in the control of the infectious causes of mortality and morbidity.
“Among factors responsible for the high cancer burden in Africa are the absence of widely available information on the early signs and symptoms of cancer, late diagnosis, misdiagnosis, absence/weak referral systems, difficult access to care and treatment, catastrophic costs of treatment and medicines, and weak health care systems”, he added.
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