The Scary Numbers Of Cancer, Second Killer Disease In The World

By Jane Muia / Published November 7, 2022 | 12:17 pm




KEY POINTS

In Africa, around 1.1 million new cases of cancer are recorded annually, as the continent records up to 700,000 cancer deaths yearly.

It is also sad that the survival rate of the disease is at a very low 20 percent or less in African countries, compared to more than 80 percent in developed countries.




KEY TAKEAWAYS


In Kenya, around 47,887 new cancer cases are recorded annually, about 130 daily. In the 2012 survey, it recorded 40,000 new cases and 27,000 deaths annually.

Despite campaigns and efforts to win the war on cancer, the situation has worsened. There has been a nearly 20 percent increase in cases diagnosed every year.


An American Writer, Dale Carnegie once said, “If you want to conquer fear don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

This is the sad truth that has kept many cancer patients not only here in Kenya but also globally going. Sadly, the only thing that most cancer patients believe is that after contracting the disease, the next thing they would probably wait for is death.

Thinking about your death or the process of dying can cause intense fear when you consider that death is inevitable.  At its most extreme, this feeling can stop people from conducting daily activities or even leaving their homes. Some of them however choose to go out and make a difference because sitting and pitying won’t make any.

Many people today including me are more scared of cancer than any other disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, or nearly one in six deaths. During the year, around 18,094,716 million cases of the disease were diagnosed globally.

WHO says that the most common cancers are breast, lung, colon and rectum, and prostate cancers. It is worth noting that around one-third of deaths from cancer are due to tobacco use, high body mass index, alcohol consumption, low fruit and vegetable intake, and lack of physical activity. This shows that working on the aforementioned threats can play a critical role in mitigating the disease, given that only 30 percent of cancer cases in low and lower-middle-income countries are caused by cancer-causing infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis.

Each year, approximately 400 000 children develop cancer with the most common cancers varying between countries. Cervical cancer is the most common in 23 countries. Males are roughly 20 percent more likely to contract the disease than females.

Related Content: Prostate Cancer Patient To Access Drugs After NHIF Deal

Cancer has been shown to be more prevalent in high-income countries due to lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, and alcohol intake. Similarly, low-income countries are at risk given the unsound healthcare systems.

In Africa, around 1.1 million new cases of cancer are recorded annually, as the continent records up to 700,000 cancer deaths yearly. It is also sad that the survival rate of the disease is at a very low 20 percent or less in African countries, compared to more than 80 percent in developed countries.

There are alarming projections that cancer death rates in the continent will rise exponentially over the next 20 years, exceeding the global average by 30 percent. Breast cancer, cervical, prostate, liver, and colorectal cancers account for almost half the new cases on the continent annually.

In Kenya, around 47,887 new cancer cases are recorded annually, about 130 daily. In the 2012 survey, it recorded 40,000 new cases and 27,000 deaths annually. Despite campaigns and efforts to win the war on cancer, the situation has worsened. There has been a nearly 20 percent increase in cases diagnosed every year.

Esophagus cancer leads among men and women with 4,380 cases yearly. Among women, breast, and cervical cancer lead to 5,985 and 5,250 cases each. In men, prostate cancer leads with 2,864 cases.

According to WHO, this has been fueled by various factors including limited access to primary prevention and early detection services, lack of awareness and education in addition to delays in diagnosis and treatment. Further, Africa is experiencing limited access to palliative care and pain relief, and shortages of specialists in medical and radiation oncology, pathology, and medical physics among other essential areas.

Prevention of this disease is possible, and prevention is good. WHO says that between 30 and 50 percent of cancers can currently be prevented by avoiding risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies. This is why we are advised to be keen on whatever we eat on a daily basis.

The cancer burden can also be reduced through early detection and appropriate treatment and care of patients who develop the disease. Cancer treatment can be highly effective, achieving survival probabilities of 90 percent or higher, particularly when the disease is identified early. This has been proven successful in high-income countries and should be applied in countries with limited resources where some of the standard tools are available to save millions of lives lost annually.

Related Content: About 7 Women Succumb To Breast Cancer Daily- MOH






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