The percentage and statistics of cancer deaths continuously increase, indicating several causes, among which are the importance of early diagnosis, choosing the right treatment plan and the proper follow-up.
Notably, most of these cases are in low-middle-income countries that face a lack of provision of appropriate care and treatment, and in some countries, they may be almost non-existent. Here lies a dangerous indication, reminding us that methods of reducing these numbers are within our reach, but the ways to secure and enhance them vary from one country to another.
81.1 million; this is the number of cancer cases according to the last statistic of World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF) worldwide in 2020. Moreover, according to WHO, 459000 deaths occur in the Middle East yearly.
World Cancer Day
On every 4th of February, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) organizes World Cancer Day, aiming to save millions of cancer patients by raising awareness and providing treatment equally, regardless of color, gender, race, and geography.
“Close the Care Gap” is a 2024 theme, which was generated as an opportunity to spread awareness and adopt the culture of early detection.
Close the Care Gap
Margret Harris, the spokesperson for the WHO, highlighted that cancer patients around the world don’t receive the same level of medical care, which in some cases reaches 15% in some low- or middle-income countries. Adding to that, the number of cancer deaths in Africa might exceed more than malaria and tuberculosis combined! and as long as the population density of these countries increases, death numbers could also rise in the coming years.
This is where the significance of the theme lies in secure treatment for all. This includes providing radiology, tomography, nuclear medicine centers and all necessary medical services and facilities. It is all based on the methodology that cancer treatment needs a comprehensive approach across sectors to be implemented. Alongside providing the scientific evidence to cover methods of prevention, early detection, treatment, and palliative care.
Needless to say, the high death numbers are heartbreaking, yet, it is the awareness that is bet on. With recognizing the equal right to treatment, rates will decrease, and cured cases increase. Keeping in mind that diagnosing cancer in the early stages elevates the chance of recovery, especially breast, colon, and cervical cancer, also reduces mortality rates and financial costs in parallel.
I believe that these facts emphasize our role in combining efforts, to remind the world that low-cost health care is patients’ basic right, with advanced health services, a clear curing plan and their needs delivered.