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World Cancer Day: Experts seek early detection, treatment

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On this year’s World Cancer Day, global cancer experts have called for urgent action to improve early cancer detection

This year is the inaugural launch of World Cancer Day’s 3-year campaign theme: “I Am and I Will” .

Highlights are on the need for urgent action to increase early stage cancer detection, screening, and diagnosis to significantly improve cancer prevention.

Early cancer detection, screening, and diagnosis is highlighted as one of the most impactful ways to save lives.

Over 18 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2018 globally.

Led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), WCD aims to inspire and encourage action from individuals, the health community, and governments to improve public awareness and access to early detection, screening, and diagnosis.

In 2018, there were more than 18 million new cases of cancer diagnosed of which nearly 5 million cases of breast, cervical, colorectal, and oral cancers could have been detected sooner and treated more effectively.

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Early detection, screening, and diagnosis have been proven to significantly improve patient survival rates and quality of life as well as significantly reduce the cost and complexity of cancer treatment. However, barriers to achieving higher rates of early cancer detection need to be addressed now at the individual, health system, and governmental level to significantly reduce the personal and financial burden of cancer worldwide.

Chief Executive Officer, Union for International Cancer Control, Dr Cary Adams said: “This World Cancer Day, we want people to know that many cancers can be managed and even cured, especially if they’re detected and treated as early as possible. By detecting cancer at its earliest stage, we seize the greatest opportunity to prevent millions of avoidable deaths worldwide.”

Universally, the majority of cancers are amenable to early detection. When a cancer is detected at an early stage – and when coupled with appropriate treatment – the chance of survival beyond five years is dramatically higher than when detected at a later stage when the tumour has spread and the disease is more advanced.

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