84 million….now that’s a big number. That is approximately the total number of deaths that will be claimed due to cancer from about 2005 to 2015. The World Health Organization or WHO came up with that estimate, and you better believe that they did TONS of research before they came up with those numbers. For you see, many countries including the US look at the WHO data to plan their health care policies including how much money to spend. So, that number is large and you bet more and more countries will want to start setting aside money for both treatment and care relating to people with cancer. Of the approximately 7.6 million people who died of cancer in 2005, 70% of them were from low to middle-income regions. This means that cancer is not a rich man’s disease. It also means that low to middle income countries are not doing so well a treating and/or preventing cancers in their countries.
So the WHO has made comprehensive goals and recommendations for their member countries to follow to achieve better anti-cancer results. The broad areas include six major areas of focus; planning, early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment, palliative care, and policy and advocacy. These are aimed at member states and not necessary at individuals. This is what policy members should be looking at and then getting the message through to health care providers and individuals.
Cancer is really considered a chronic disease like diabetes for example and is not a one-off thing. It is often a long-term sickness that can and needs to be managed carefully. Successful treatment is sometimes expensive and may explain why poorer countries are not doing as well and richer ones in saving people from dying of cancer. But, there are many other factors including perception and family values. In some places, people with cancer are closed up and hidden, they are considered an embarrassment. In other countries surgery and radiotherapy is considered too expensive for many. The WHO hopes to slowly change this.
So, even though Feb. 4th was World Cancer Day and most of us did not even know this….let us remember that cancer control starts with knowledge. Read sites like this and others to empower yourself and understand what we are dealing with. Protect yourself. And stay healthy.
Thanks for reading….Dr. C
for more info please see … Cancer Made Simple
- World Cancer Day: 340,000 Cases Of Cancer A Year In The U.S. Could Be Prevented (huffingtonpost.com)
- How Can You Support World Cancer Day Online? (mashable.com)