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WHO calls for earlier cancer diagnosis

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WHO calls for earlier cancer diagnosis
February 4, 2017

LATE diagnosis of cancer leads to millions of people enduring needless suffering and premature death, and efforts to catch the disease earlier must be stepped up, the World Health Organization said yesterday.

In a report launched ahead of World Cancer Day today, the WHO said it wanted to improve chances of survival for cancer patients by ensuring health services focus on diagnosing and treating the disease earlier.

“Diagnosing cancer in late stages, and the inability to provide treatment, condemns many people to unnecessary suffering and early death,” said Etienne Krug, a WHO expert on chronic disease and cancer.

He said early diagnosis of cancer and prompt treatment, especially for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers, would lead to more people surviving the disease and cut treatment costs.

“Detecting cancer early … greatly reduces cancer’s financial impact,” the report said. “Not only is the cost of treatment much less in cancer’s early stages, but people can also continue to work and support their families if they can access effective treatment in time.”

Cancer is responsible for almost one in six deaths globally, according to the report. In 2010, the annual combined cost of health care and loss of productivity was estimated at US$1.16 trillion.

source: Shanghai Daily

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