More than a year since the new Corona Virus The crisis has started, and its impact on cancer care has been stark. “50 percent of governments (have) cancer services have been partially or completely disrupted by the epidemic,” said Dr. Andre Elbauy. World Health OrganizationDepartment of Noncommunicable Diseases.
“Delay in diagnosis is common. Discontinuation or abandonment of treatment has increased dramatically,” adding that this is likely to have an impact on the total number of cancer deaths in the coming years.
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“Health care professionals are under great pressure to provide services and there is a significant decrease in research and registration in clinical trials. To put it simply, the consequences of the epidemic for cancer control efforts have been profound.”
An unspecified number of countries “of all income levels” were affected, the WHO doctor continued, although some rich countries managed to cope with the effects of the epidemic, including the Netherlands, where special programs were set up to accelerate access to cancer diagnosis and treatment for those who They show symptoms.
Amidst any uncertainty Covid-19 It may be the most appropriate vaccine for cancer patients, given the increasing vulnerability of some individuals, Dr. Elbaway said that data from ongoing clinical vaccine trials have not yet been published.
He said, “We appreciate that cancer patients are being observed in these clinical trials because the evidence has shown that cancer patients are more likely to have COVID-related illnesses and deaths due to their immunosuppression.”
A trillion dollar version
According to the World Health Organization, the economic burden of cancer on societies is huge and growing. In 2010, it was estimated to cost $ 1.16 trillion.
“In 2020, the number of people diagnosed with cancer worldwide reached 19.3 million, with the number of deaths increasing to 10 million,” said Dr. Elbawi.
According to the agency, there were 2.3 million new breast cancer cases in 2020, representing nearly 12 percent of all cancer cases. It is also the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide.
Speaking via Zoom in Geneva before World Cancer Day “For the first time, breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the world, followed by lung cancer, which has historically been the main cause of most of it, third colorectal cancer,” said Dr. Elbawi on Thursday.
The WHO official warned that the cancer burden is expected to rise further in the coming years for a variety of reasons, including population growth, as the number of new cases worldwide in 2040 is likely to rise 47 percent from 2020.
The United Nations said in a statement that the largest increases will be in low- and middle-income countries, where diagnosis is common in the late stages and lack of access to quality and affordable diagnosis and treatment.
The World Health Organization highlighted efforts to treat cervical cancer, noting that it is the fourth most common type of cancer among women globally, with an estimated 604,000 new cases in 2020 and 700,000 cases and 400,000 deaths expected in 2030.
Sufferers from poor countries are disproportionately affected, with nearly 90 percent of global deaths in 2020 due to cervical cancer occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
Quick diagnosis and treatment
Emphasizing the benefits of early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, the United Nations Health Agency has appealed for better availability of the HPV vaccine (Human papillomavirus) And low-cost methods of screening and treatment before cancer “before it develops into an invasive cancer”, as well as new approaches to surgical training.
“ To move forward on the road to eliminating cervical cancer, we must achieve three goals by 2030: 90 percent of girls receive a full HPV vaccination by the age of 15, and 70 percent of women are screened with a high-performance test. By age 35 and again 45 and 90 percent of women with cervical cancer were treated, ”the World Health Organization said.
Achieving these goals will result in a decrease in cases of more than 70 percent by 2050 and help avert 4.5 million deaths from cervical cancer.
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