‘India, China have highest breast, cervical cancer patients’
India and China have the largest number of women with breast and cervical cancer, according to a new Lancet study, which showed that causes of death are registered in just 9 per cent and 4 per cent of cases, respectively.
The number of women diagnosed with breast cancer every year worldwide expected to almost double from 1.7 million in 2015 to 3.2 million and cervical cancer is predicted to rise by at least 25 per cent to over 7,00,000 by 2030, most in low- and middle income countries (LMICs).
Every year 800,000 women die of cervical and breast cancer, but where a woman lives will largely determine her chance of survival. Two thirds of breast cancer deaths and 9 out of 10 deaths from cervical cancer occur in LMICs.
Researchers said country-led efforts to tackle breast, cervical and other women’s cancers in LMICs have so far been inadequate and call for international efforts to end preventable deaths from breast and cervical cancer.
The lack of data collection on the extent and nature of cancer is an enormous challenge to understanding the true burden of cancer in LMICs and needs to be improved. Less than a fifth of cancer patients live in an area where there is a registry.
Most cancer data for countries across the African continent are extrapolated from just one country. “There is a widespread misconception that breast and cervical cancers are too difficult and expensive to prevent and treat, particularly in resource-poor countries where the burden of these diseases is highest,” said Ophira Ginsburg, professor at the University of Toronto in Canada.
Five-year survival after diagnosis for breast cancer ranges from around 50 per cent in South Africa, Mongolia and India, to over 80 per cent in 34 countries including Australia, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and the US.