Lack of cancer services in developing countries is "an immense human tragedy" says IAEA chief

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Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the IAEA

Millions of cancer patients in the developing world do not have access to diagnostic services or treatment, resulting in "an immense human tragedy," according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In a message on World Cancer Day, observed on 4 February, IAEA chief Dr. Yukiya Amano said the agency is working with partners to fight cancer, including through access to radiotherapy.

The treatment, also known as radiation therapy, is used to control or kill malignant cells.  However, Dr. Amano said the IAEA estimates there is a shortage of around 5,000 radiotherapy machines in developing countries.

"As the Director-General of the IAEA, I have visited many countries. Whenever I visit these countries I try to visit the cancer hospitals, and in many countries I see no equipment at all, or only one equipment, and thousands of people are depending on this single machine." (29 secs)

Dr. Amano noted that early detection and modern treatment methods mean millions of cancer patients are now living for decades after their diagnosis.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

 

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