Oct 02, 2018 News
The mortality rate of cancer, once diagnosed, is very high. This was the assertion of PAHO/WHO resident representative, Dr. William Adu Krow. His disclosure yesterday was at a ceremony to kick start Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
As he verbally painted the picture of cancer, Dr. Adu Krow said that the most common type of cancer in women is breast cancer. He pointed out that in the Americas, more than 408,000 women were diagnosed and of that number, 92,000 women died in one year.
“That means that one out of every four [died]…,” said Dr. Adu Krow. “By 2030, the number of women newly diagnosed with cancer is projected to increase by 46 percent in the Americas if current trends continue but we will have to halt those current trends.”
He said that in the Region of the Americas, the top causes of death for both men and women are non-communicable diseases [NCDs], which include cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and others.
“These diseases are responsible for approximately 4.4 million deaths of which 37 percent are people who are under 70 years of age. Nearly 80 percent of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries,” said Dr. Adu Krow.
As he continued his breast cancer deliberation, he disclosed that in Latin America and the Caribbean, breast cancer ranks as the first cancer type both in terms of new cases and in terms of death. Also in the Latin Americas and the Caribbean, Dr. Adu Krow said that a greater proportion of breast cancer deaths occur in women who are under 65 years of age.
“Almost 57 percent as compared to North America which is 41 percent…That means in the Caribbean, it is taking a higher proportion than it would take in North America and the Caribbean together as a group,” said Dr. Adu Krow.
As he turned his attention to Guyana, the PAHO/WHO representative underscored that breast, cervical and uterine cancers are the leading causes of death as it relates to cancers in women. He noted that the rising cancer incidents and the disproportional high mortality rate continues to impact the wellbeing of families and places a substantial demand on health systems and services, and hampers the human, social and economic development.
Dr. Adu Krow said yesterday too that, “it is no difference in Guyana where NCDs, including cancers, are the main causes of morbidity and mortality.” He disclosed that Guyana recorded 6,518 cancers for the period 2003-2012 with an overall accumulative incidence rate of 867 per 100,000 population, and an annual incidence rate of 87.3 per 100,000 population.
“Of these, 3,956 or about 60 percent, were females and 2,561, about 40 percent, were males,” related Dr. Adu Krow. He, however, emphasised that “breast cancer can be detected early and treated effectively. This is the message PAHO/WHO is promoting.”
He noted that when breast cancer is detected early and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. But if detected late, he noted, that curative treatment is often no longer an option and in such cases palliative care is needed to relieve the pain and suffering of patients.
But according to Dr. Adu Krow, “PAHO/WHO encourages Guyana and partners in Guyana to ensure that women live long healthy lives free from cancers.”
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