WORLD CANCER DAY: WHO outlines guidelines to save 7 million cancer patients


World Health Organization (WHO) has highlighted new guidelines to help eradicate Cancer.

These include controlling tobacco use which accounts for 25% of cancer deaths, vaccinating against hepatitis B to prevent liver cancer, eliminating cervical cancer by vaccinating against HPV, screening and treatment, implementing high-impact cancer management interventions that bring value for money and ensuring access to palliative care including pain relief.

According to the statement issued February 4, 2020, low- and middle-income countries such as Nigeria will experience an estimated 81% increase of new cases of cancer by the year 2040 if urgent measures are not put in place.

The WHO however blamed the increasing rise of cancer cases on negligence and lack of proper attention by governments within this region.

“If people have access to primary care and referral systems then cancer can be detected early, treated effectively and cured. Cancer should not be a death sentence for anyone, anywhere,” said Dr Ren Minghui, WHO Assistant Director-General, Universal Health Coverage/ Communicable and Non-communicable Diseases.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO also envisaged that the current menace caused by the increasing death due to Cancer can be bridged if countries galvanize different stakeholders and local technology peculiar to it towards eradicating the disease.

“At least 7 million lives could be saved over the next decade, by identifying the most appropriate science for each country situation, by basing strong cancer responses on universal health coverage, and by mobilizing different stakeholders to work together”, he said.

The WHO warns that, if current trends continue, the world will see a 60% increase in cancer cases over the next twenty years however, low- and middle-income countries will have a greater share of the menace.