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Wed, 03 Feb 2010 17:10 - Updated Wed, 03 Feb 2010 18:19

WHO urges people to learn about cancer


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Regional director of WHO for Africa

Photo: Angop

Luanda - The World Health Organization (WHO) calls on the world's population to learn about cancer and precancerous injuries, including cancer-related diseases in order to detect it on time, and prevent and treat it, 

This call is expressed in a message from the regional director of WHO for Africa, the Angolan Luís Gomes Sambo, that reached Angop on Wednesday on the occasion World Cancer Day, marked on 04 February. 

According to the communiqué, to reduce cancer there should be adopted practices and lifestyles, that can reduce cancer risks, promoting immunization of children against infection with hepatitis B virus and human papillomavirus in order to avoid later occurrence of cancer. 

Luis Gomes Sambo also calls on international agencies and donors to increase funding and technical support programmes to prevent and control cancer, as part of their support activities and development aid. 

"WHO will continue to work with international and national partners to support countries to strengthen their health services and capacity of their professionals to prevent and control cancer," says the report. 

The note says that the cancer situation is worsening in some countries, where many patients do not have access to screening, diagnosis and treatment of the illness. 

The report by the World Cancer, 2008, adds the message, until 2030, that cases of cancer will increase annually from 13 million to 27 million, and this time, cancer will kill about 17 million people a year. 

In Africa, the message highlights, the estimates point out for for 667,000 new cases of cancer in 2008, affecting 314,000 males and 353,000 females and causing 518,000 deaths. 

In men, Kaposi's sarcoma is the most common cancer and the leading cause of deaths, followed by cancers of the liver and prostate. In women, the most common are cancer of the cervix and breast cancer. 

The note stresses that cancer differs from place to place, and that tobacco is the most important preventable causes that can result in cancer, accounting for nearly 30 percent of deaths attributed to cancer in the world. 

Other cases of cancer are related to an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity and obesity-related complications. 

HIV prevention can reduce the Kaposi's sarcoma and vaccination against hepatitis B and papilloma virus (HPV) reduces liver cancers and cervical cancer. 

The World Health Organisation supports countries in the region to engage with the challenges of cancer, creating tools and strategies to prevent and control cancer, which include the implementation of priority interventions, capacity building, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation