About 8.8 million people die every year from cancer, mostly in low and middle-income countries because cancer cases are diagnosed too late. This is coming as the total annual economic cost of cancer through healthcare expenditure and loss of productivity was estimated at $1.16 trillion (N522 trillion).
According to new guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO), released over the weekend to mark the World Cancer Day on February 4, cancer is now responsible for almost one in six deaths globally and more than 14 million people develop cancer every year, and this figure is projected to rise to over 21 million by 2030.
The WHO noted that cancers, along with diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic lung diseases, are also known as non communicable diseases (NCDs), which were responsible for 40 million (70 per cent) of the world’s 56 million deaths in 2015.
According to the WHO, most people diagnosed with cancer live in low- and middle-income countries including Nigeria, where two thirds of cancer deaths occur.
Less than 30 per cent of low-income countries have generally accessible diagnosis and treatment services, and referral systems for suspected cancer are often unavailable resulting in delayed and fragmented care.
Also, Journalists Against Cancer in Nigeria (JaCiN) has made giant strides in their plans to procure mobile cancer centres in 36 states of the federation plus the federal capital territory (FCT) Abuja.