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Ahead Of World Cancer Day, WHO Survey Shows Half Of All Countries Struggle To Prevent Cancer, Provide Long-Term Treatment

“Ahead of World Cancer Day, the United Nations health agency [Friday] launched a survey showing that more than half of all countries are struggling to prevent cancer and to provide appropriate long-term treatment and care to avoid human suffering and protect countries’ social and economic development,” the U.N. News Centre reports (2/1). “This means, currently many of these countries do not have a functional cancer control plan that includes prevention, early detection, treatment and care,” according to a WHO press release.

The press release notes nearly 13 million cancer cases are newly diagnosed each year, and 7.6 million people died from cancer worldwide in 2008. “Already more than two-thirds of these new cancer cases and deaths occur in developing countries where cancer incidence continues to increase at alarming rates,” the press release continues, noting some cancers are curable if caught early and preventable by modifying “risks including tobacco use, obesity, harmful use of alcohol and infections” (2/1). “This year’s World Cancer Day, marked on 4 February, focuses on improving general knowledge around cancer,” the U.N. News Centre states (2/1). In an article about the day, USA Today highlights common myths and stereotypes about the disease (Szabo, 2/4).