The World Health Organization revealed this in a statement to commemorate World Cancer Day 2022 which has the theme “Closing the Care Gap”.
Stressing that the disease has become one of the leading causes of death worldwide, he warned that the death toll would continue to rise in the years to come.
“In 2021, the world crossed a sobering new threshold – approximately 20 million people were diagnosed with cancer and 10 million died,” the statement said. “These numbers will continue to rise in the decades to come. And yet, all cancers can be treated, and many can be prevented or cured.
“Cancer care, however, like so many other diseases, reflects the inequalities and injustices of our world. The clearest distinction is between high-income and low-income countries, with full treatment reportedly available in more than 90% of high-income countries but less than 15% of low-income countries.
According to the WHO, the survival of children diagnosed with cancer is above 80% in high-income countries and below 30% in low- and middle-income countries.
It found that breast cancer survival five years after diagnosis was over 80% in most high-income countries, compared to 66% and 40% in India and South Africa respectively.
A recent survey, the agency said, found that cancer services were covered by a country’s largest public health financing system in about 37% of low- and middle-income countries, compared with at least 78 % of high-income countries.
This means a cancer diagnosis has the potential to push families into poverty, especially in low-income countries – an effect that has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO has warned.
“For all these reasons, the theme for this year’s World Cancer Day is ‘Bridging the Care Gap,’ ” the statement explained. “And fortunately, much is being done to bring quality cancer care to countries where, until now, it has been out of reach.
“WHO efforts are focused on breast cancer – the most common cancer today; cervical cancer – which can be eliminated; and childhood cancer. Each of these initiatives focuses on low- and middle-income countries, where the greatest public health gains are to be made. »
The agency assured that these global integrated initiatives against cancer were implemented by more than 200 partners around the world, including many development banks which have significantly increased their investments in cancer research, prevention and care. the cancer.