BY CHIOMA OBINNA & ESTHER ONYEGBULA
A new global report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC, has shown that the burden of cancer is growing at an alarming rate, with the number of annual new cancer cases estimate to rise by 75 per cent and reach close to 25 million in the next two decades from the current rate of 14 million new cases per year.
This is coming on the heels of passionate call to the Nigerian governments to urgently implement the UN World Cancer Declaration 2013, that seeks to significantly reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, in the Report tagged; “World Cancer Report 2014,” released to mark this year’s World Cancer Day, urged governments to urgently implement strategies to curb the killer disease.
The IARC also urged governments to recognise the growing cancer burden, stating that the incidence of cancer globally will continue to grow unless nations recognised the threat and act on it now.
The World Cancer Report noted that the number of deaths due to the disease among the world’s poor is growing at a faster rate than previously expected.
The report found that currently 4.2 million people per year die prematurely due to the disease across the world.
The report also enjoined governments around the world to move to stop the millions of predicted needless and premature deaths caused by cancer by developing and implementing a national plan which includes proven preventive and early detection measures.
In 2012, the global burden of cancer rose to an estimated 14 million new cases per year, a figure expected to rise to 22 million annually within the next two decades.
Over the same period, cancer deaths are predicted to rise from an estimated 8.2 million annually to 13 million per year.
Specifically, by 2025 almost 80 per cent of the increase in the number of all cancer deaths will occur in less developed countries.
Unlike the developed countries, large proportions of cancers in developing nations are caused by infections such as Human Papillomavirus which account for 85 per cent of HPV related cancer cases.