By BBN Staff: World Cancer Day is February 4th and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)’s statistics indicate that cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in The Americas.
Director Carissa F. Etienne called for ensuring diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the Americas, where services have been seriously disrupted during the COVID19 pandemic.
“We must not forget other grave illnesses while we combat COVID-19. We must fight the pandemic while continuing to make advances against other diseases, particularly cancer. For cancer patients, lack of diagnoses, treatments, and medications can be deadly,” Etienne said.
According to the data from PAHO, about 14 million people were newly diagnosed with cancer in 2020.
An estimated 1.4 million people died from cancer in 2020.
And approximately 57% of new cancer cases and 47% of cancer deaths occurred in people 69 years of age or younger, in the prime of their lives.
Among men, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers are most common whereas, among women, breast, lung, and colorectal cancers are most common.
PAHO noted that pandemic-related disruptions to cancer services arose due to multiple causes including cancellation of elective medical procedures, closure of services, reduction in demand due to lockdowns, and the need to channel resources into COVID-19.
In addition, some cancer patients have been reluctant to show up for office visits or go to hospitals for treatment where COVID-19 patients may also be receiving care.
Cancer patients are at increased risk of developing the most serious and potentially fatal forms of COVID-19.
World Cancer Day aims to save millions of lives each year by raising awareness and education about cancer and by calling on governments and people around the world to take action against the disease.