10m To Die Of Cancer Annually From 2020


At least 10 million people worldwide are expected to die from the cancer annually by 2020, a senior Health official of the Lagos State Government quotes the World Health Organisation, WHO, as saying.

Cancer is regarded as one of the three leading causes of death in developing countries including Nigeria.

As the world marks World Cancer Day at the weekend, the Lagos State Government says it is stepping up campaign against the dreaded ailment.

Speaking at an event to mark the World Cancer Day, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, said: “The WHO and the International Union Against Cancer report that from 2020, cancer could kill up to 10 million people annually with the number of new cases increasing from 11 million in 2002 to 15.7 million by 2020 worldwide.”

“In Nigeria, for instance, prostate cancer, the commonest malignancy in men has continued to rise; breast cancer leads the female incidence in deaths while the incidence of cervical cancer continues to increase in young Nigerian female,” she added.

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She said cancer gravity in Nigeria is unknown due to under-reporting, lack of appropriate diagnosis, limited access to care, differences in technical power and infrastructure and quality of cancer data system.

The theme of this year’s World Cancer Day which is Together, it is Possible emphasises the need to know that it is only by every person, organisation and government playing their parts that the world will be able to reduce premature deaths from cancer and other non-communicable diseases by 25 percent by 2025.

Adeshina stated that Lagos has been forging ahead in cancer control activities, saying that the government has been working on different modalities with emphasis on breast and cervical cancer awareness and screening for women and prostate cancer awareness and screening for men.

She disclosed that 14 free breast cancer awareness and screening programmes have been done since 2006 when the programme kicked off, saying that 19,510 women have benefitted from the screening and 857 women referred for breast anomaly management.

The special adviser urged government’s partners, researchers, health workers, media and NGOs to be determined to wage a relentless battle against cancer, saying that the fight could be won if there was concerted effort.

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