World Cancer Day puts spotlight on the disease

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The international community is capable of coming together to tackle cancer which is taking its toll in developing countries.

That's the message on World Cancer Day, which is observed on 4 February each year to put a spotlight on the disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 70 per cent of close to 8 million people who die of cancer each year are in developing countries.

Derrick Mbatha reports.

WHO says that there are powerful global trends that contribute to the rise of cancer in the developing world, including population ageing, rapid unplanned urbanization, and the globalization of unhealthy lifestyles.

It warns that unless action is taken, deaths from cancer in developing countries are forecast to grow to 7.6 million this year and close to 9 million in 2030.

The agency says World Cancer Day offers an opportunity to demonstrate its policies and programmes for countries to reduce their cancer burden.

The theme for this year's World Cancer Day is “Not beyond us”.

Nelly Enwerem-Bromsom, the director of the UN nuclear agency's Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) explains what it means.

"The theme, "Not beyond us" means that we are capable as the international community to come together and through innovative technologies, innovative financing, innovative partnerships tackle this burden of disease which kills more than five million patients yearly in developing countries. This is more than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria." (23")

Ms Enwerem-Bromsom said this is a theme of hope which also recognizes that more needs to be done to tackle the burden of cancer, particularly in the low and middle-income countries.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration: 1’39″

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