David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi, Fred Ezeh, Abuja and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
There are about 14 million people, worldwide, suffering from cancer, according to Professor Brian Adinma , who has said that if nothing urgent is done to eradicate it, by 2030, the number would increase to 21 million.
Prof. Adinma said this, yesterday, during celebration of the World Cancer Day, 2019, which held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Centre for Community Medicine and Primary Healthcare, in Neni, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State.
It was also a day, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government’s efforts at prioritising care for cancer patients.
Obaseki gave the commendation in Benin City, yesterday, in commemoration of the World Cancer Day, a day set aside by the World Health Organisation to draw global attention to the disease, review progress on treatment and management options with global stakeholders.
He emphasised the need for people to go for regular checks to detect the cells early.
Meanwhile, the Health Organisation (WHO), has predicted that cancer burden in Africa is projected to double its figure by 2040, due to increased consumption and lifestyle that causes cancer.
WHO maintained that cancer has been one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide, adding that new cases and deaths from the scourge continue to rise yearly.
It said that, in 2012, 14 million new cases were recorded globally with 8.2 million deaths, whereas in 2018 there were 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths.
In Africa, WHO said cancer burden is expected to rise from 1,055,172 cases in 2018, to 2,123,245 cases by 2040, inclusive of 16, 000 cases in Nigeria.
It listed tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diets, alcohol use and environmental pollution, as key drivers of the rise in cancer burden in Africa.
Others are shortage of 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.
It said that other contributing factors could be epidemiologic and demographic changes that are currently taking place in Africa.