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three years of a decisive global campaign against cancer

February 9, 2019, 8:13By Ana Laura Arbesú

Havana, (PL) Every year 8.8 million people die of cancer, especially in low and middle income countries.

Faced with this reality, health organizations celebrate in their enthusiasm to make progress in prevention, the World Day of the fight against cancer every 4 February. Since 2016 a systematic three-year campaign has called for unity between all: we can, I can.

In 2019 the message is about what everyone can achieve in the individual, personal contribution: I am and I will do it. The campaign, like the previous one, will have this motto as the central axis.

Data provided in relation to the date of the World Health Organization (WHO) leading the campaign indicate that one of the problems is that many cases are diagnosed too late.

Even in countries with optimal healthcare systems and services, many cases of malignant tumors are diagnosed at an advanced stage, while it is more difficult for the treatment to work, they say.

In 2013, the WHO launched the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases 2013-2020, which aims to reduce the premature mortality caused by cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes by 25% and chronic respiratory diseases. by 2025.

Figures released by the International Union for Cancer Control (UICC), on February 4, specify that more than 18 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed last year, of which nearly five million were cancers. Breast, cervical, colorectal cancer and oral cancers may have previously been detected and treated more effectively.

The text calls for a better and more effective early diagnosis. It has been proven that early detection, screening and diagnosis significantly improve the chances of survival and quality of life for patients, as well as significantly reduce the cost and complexity of cancer treatment.

He stresses, however, that barriers to achieving higher rates of early detection of cancer must now be tackled by the individual, health care and the government to significantly reduce the personal and financial burden of cancer worldwide.


But in Latin America the situation is no different. According to statistics from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death in the region.

It is estimated that it caused 1.3 million deaths in 2018 and reported 3.7 million new cases.

The UN agency states in its report on the behavior of the disease that the number of cancer cases will increase by 3 percent, more than five million new cases in 2030, as a result of the aging of the population and the epidemiological transition in America. Latina and the Caribbean.


Considered the second cause of death in Cuba, cancer appears with a rising rhythm in terms of new cases, but mortality has a tendency to plateau, a specialist told Prensa Latina.

On the occasion of the World Day of the fight against cancer, Cuba arrived on this day with different results. Such trends have been occurring for several years and despite the fact that the incidence, that is, the new cases are increasing, the mortality remains on the plateau and by the end of 2018 there were 966 fewer deaths compared to the previous period, the data detail.

The head of the cancer control program, María Caridad Rubio, said that the highest incidence in Cuba occurs in skin cancer, but this type is not considered fatal.

According to the data, there are eight locations that cover 62 percent of the cases and in both sexes the lung carries out the list.

For women it is accompanied by the breast, to continue with the colon, uterine body and cervix, while in men, the prostate, colon, larynx and urinary tract take the second to fifth place respectively.

According to the specialist, the strategy of the comprehensive program on the island has a basis in primary care, with well-defined functions, including the periodic physical examination of risk subjects, the dispensation of cases and health education.

When referring to the risk factors, which focus on the work of prevention, he explained that there is a causal link on the island with regard to cancer: smoking and aging.

He also regretted at the same time how the disease is also the first cause of potential lost years of life, which oscillates in 18 years causing the disease to pass, affecting both sexes.

Recent health authority statistics indicate that about 70 percent of clinical trials currently being developed in Cuba seek effective treatment against different types of cancer.

The therapeutic vaccines, made in the centers of Molecular Immunology and Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology and other institutions of the country, are so far the most promising gamble.


* Head of the Latin American office for science and technology.

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