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🩺 Health

Cancer cases to rise by 81% in poorer countries

توقعات بازدياد حالات السرطان بنسبة 81% في البلدان الفقيرة


GENEVA • The United Nations health agency has warned that cancer cases would rise by 81 per cent in low-and middle-income countries by 2040 because of a lack of investment in prevention and care.

The Geneva-based World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a report that these countries had focused their limited resources on combating infectious diseases and improving maternal and child health instead of fighting cancer.

It said they often had the highest cancer mortality too.

“This is a wake-up call for all of us to tackle the unacceptable inequalities between cancer services in rich and poor countries,” said Dr Ren Minghui, a WHO assistant director-general, in the report.

“If people have access to primary care and referral systems, then cancer can be detected early, treated effectively and cured.”

The report, timed to coincide with World Cancer Day yesterday, said an investment of US$25 billion (S$34 billion) over the next decade could save seven million lives from cancer. “Controlling cancer does not have to be expensive,” said Dr Andre Ilbawi, of the WHO’s department for management of non-communicable diseases.


The annual report found that overall cancer cases in the world would rise by 60 per cent by 2040 and said tobacco use was responsible for 25 per cent of cancer deaths.


Dr Elisabete Weiderpass, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer which works with the WHO, said better cancer treatment in high-income countries had resulted in a 20 per cent drop in mortality between 2000 and 2015. But in poorer countries, the reduction was just 5 per cent.

Cancer cases to rise by 81% in poorer countries

“We need to see everyone benefiting equally,” she said.

While cancer had long been considered a disease of wealthy countries, this is no longer the case, said the report. It pointed out that one in five people worldwide would face a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.

“It’s a global burden,” said Dr Ren.


توقعت منظمة الصحة العالمية ازدياد حالات السرطان بنسبة 81% بحلول عام 2040 في البلدان المنخفضة والمتوسطة الدخل، بسبب عدم كفاية الموارد اللازمة للوقاية.

وحذرت المنظمة المتخصصة التابعة للأمم المتحدة في تقرير، من أنه إذا استمرت الاتجاهات الحالية، فإن العالم سيشهد زيادة عالمية بنسبة 60 بالمائة في حالات السرطان على مدى العقدين المقبلين.

وفي العام 2018، سجلت منظمة الصحة العالمية 18.1مليون حالة سرطان جديدة في جميع أنحاء العالم ، وتتوقع أن يصل الرقم إلى ما بين 29 و37 مليون حالة بحلول عام 2040.

وأشارت المنظمة إلى أن السبب الأساسي في ذلك، هو أن هذه البلدان لم تخصص سوى موارد صحية محدودة لمكافحة الأمراض المعدية وتحسين صحة الأمهات والأطفال، ولأن الخدمات الصحية في هذه البلدان غير مجهزة للوقاية من السرطان وتشخيصه وعلاجه.

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