By Lola SERIKI- IDAHOSA, Kaduna
As the world marks cancer globally, a medical expert has warned that except certain measures are put in place and steps taken, cancer will kill more than eight million people worldwide in 2016.
Addressing the media as part of events to mark the day at Isa Kaita road in Kaduna, Dr Charles Cudjoe, Coordinator North West, International Cancer Week said that number is equivalent to the entire population of Lagos State and half of these will be people of working age (30-69 old).
He also revealed that it has been estimated that the cost implications on world economies caused by cancer and the other non-communicable diseases, including mental health, could be as high as $47 trillion “if no action is taken to reduce the anticipated growth in cases over the next two decades”.
According to him, “this is a greater economic impact than the global financial crisis of 2008 and represents 75 percent of global GDP.
Today on world cancer Day 2016, the world unites against this disease that knows no borders and represents one of humanity’s most pressing and financial concerns.”
“Under the campaign theme “We can, I can” World Cancer Day represents a unique opportunity to draw attention to what can be done to address cancer, save millions of avoidable deaths and, in turn, support global economic growth and development.
“We can” today, the world’s leading international cancer NGO, the Union for international cancer control (UICC), urges cooperation to focus their “business on products and services that improve public health.
Moreover, UICC is seeking governments to urgently reaffirm their commitment to the following cost effective cancer essentials package that save lives”.
He enumerated the following as precautionary measure against the dreaded disease; Implementation of vaccination programmes which prevent infections that cause cervical and liver cancer. Scale up of access to early detection, and screening programmes for cervical, breast and bowel cancers and follow-on treatment, improved tobacco taxation, regulation and control as well as pain relief and palliative care services for all cancer patients.
Meanwhile, Chasel Hospital as part of its corporate social responsibilities and passionate about cancer prevention, said it has screened over 1000 men and women in prostate, cervical and breast cancer.
Dr Cudjoe said “the world cancer day is an opportunity to do more and reach out to the people. To let everyone know the good news that cancer can be prevented if detected early”.
World Cancer Day takes place every year on 4 February and is the single initiative under which the world can unite to raise the profile of cancer in a positive and inspiring way.