The global cancer burden is expected to reach 29 million new cancer cases per year by 2040, cautions World Cancer Report 2020.
The world will witness a 62% increase in cancer cases over the next two decades, amid the continuation of the current trends, warns the World Health Organization (WHO).
An increase in cancer burden can occur in low and middle-income countries compared to other countries, due to known infectious agents, chemicals including tobacco, and obesity.
Due to the use of health resources priorly in combating infectious diseases and improving maternal and child health, there is a lack of proper health services to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer in low and middle-income countries, says WHO, underscoring the need to step-up cancer services in these countries.
According to WHO, in 2019, only 15% of low-income countries had a comprehensive treatment facility available at the public health system compared to 90% in high-income countries.
“If people have access to primary care and referral systems then cancer can be detected early, treated effectively and cured. Cancer should not be a death sentence for anyone, anywhere,” says Dr. Ren Minghui, Assistant Director-General, Universal Health Coverage/ Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases, World Health Organization.