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World Cancer Day 2015
- Category: Press Release
Cancer Control - NOT BEYOND US!
The Belize Cancer Society joins local, international and regional partners in observing World Cancer Day 2015 which is being observed under the theme: Cancer Control-NOT BEYOND US. World Cancer Day is a global initiative that seeks to unite the world in the global fight against cancer.
Worldwide, there are approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer deaths occurring annually, with over 50 percent occurring in less developed regions of the world. It is projected that by the end of 2025, 19.3 million new cancer cases and 11.4 million cancer deaths will occur, with the greater burden of the disease occurring in low and middle-income countries. In Latin America and the Caribbean, over 1.1 million new cancer cases and 600,000 cancer deaths occur annually. Leading cancers affecting the region are prostate cancer in men with breast and cervical cancers in women.
In Belize, 10 percent of all deaths are attributable to cancers, with a large percentage of cancer deaths caused by cancers that can be controlled through primary and secondary interventions. Similar to countries in the Caribbean and Central America, the leading cancers for men are prostate, colon and lung cancers. For women, cancers of the cervix, breast and colon are leading causes of cancer deaths. Emerging data suggests that two new childhood cancer diagnoses are made monthly in Belize.
The World Cancer Declaration (2013), calls on government leaders and policy-makers to significantly reduce cancer burden, promote greater equity in terms of access to cancer control services and integrate cancer control into the development agenda of their countries. The goal of these actions is to reduce premature deaths from cancer and improve the quality of life and cancer survival rates for those affected. In order to achieve this goal, key targets must be achieved by 2025:
- Strengthen health systems that deliver cancer prevention and care services;
- Improve access to essential cancer medicines and technologies;
- Reduce the financial toll of cancer on individuals, families and economies;
- Promote an enabling environment for healthy living in our communities;
- Urge governments to invest in health systems that support healthy lives;
- Raise awareness about cancer among communities, health professionals and policy makers;
- Integrate early detection and screening into health systems;
- Invest in a skilled workforce to deliver early detection and treatment;
- Empower individuals, and foster communities and health systems to support activities that can lead to the highest quality of life; and
- Ensure access to high quality palliative care with attention to pain control.
The Belize Cancer Society assures the public that advocacy efforts have been intensified to address all strategies that are necessary to reduce the burden of cancer in Belize. We call on the Government of Belize, the Ministry of Health, other key stakeholders and particularly the citizens of Belize to join us in our struggle to ensure that a comprehensive cancer control program becomes an integral part of public health services offered by the Ministry of Health. We know that Cancer Control is NOT Beyond Us! We know what we need to do! Can we just get the work done?
Laura Tucker-Longsworth MSN. RN.
President, Belize Cancer Society
2625 Mercy Lane
Belize City, Belize.
End of Press Release