The World Health Organisation (WHO) says cancer is the second after cardiovascular diseases leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020.
The WHO Country’s Representative Dr. Walter Mulombo said this at an event in Abuja to commemorate the 2021 International Cancer Week with the theme “Cancer care for all: through strategic advocacy and investment”.
He said the topic for this year is quite apt as it has been noted that Non-communicable Diseases are fast outpacing communicable diseases.
Dr. Mulombo said current data estimates that 1 out of every 3 Nigerian is dying from a form of NCDs thus, the need exists for more strategic investment in cancer prevention and care, to avoid further catastrophic financial hardship on the populace.
Taking a statistical look at the number of cancer deaths recorded worldwide, He said breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women and Prostrate cancer in Men noting that in 2020, there were 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer and 685 000 deaths globally.
He said in Nigeria, while breast cancer remain the commonest, it is followed closely by cervical cancer in women with estimated 26 per 100,000 population new cases occurring every year.
The WHO Country Rep assured that the organisation is providing technical assistance to the Government of Nigeria in strengthening the prevention and control of NCDs including cancer in the country.