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What is Cancer?

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells. It can affect almost any part of the body. The growths often invade surrounding tissue and can metastasize to distant sites. Many cancers can be prevented by avoiding exposure to common risk factors, such as tobacco smoke. In addition, a significant proportion of cancers can be cured, by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, especially if they are detected early.

10 facts about cancer Cancer affects everyone – the young and old, the rich and poor, men, women and children – and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, particularly in developing countries. Yet, many of these deaths can be avoided. Over 30% of all cancers can be prevented. Others can be detected early, treated and cured. Even with late stage cancer, the suffering of patients can be relieved with good palliative care

There are more than 100 types of cancers; any part of the body can be affected. In 2004, 7.4 million people died of cancer - 13% of all deaths worldwide. More than 70% of all cancer deaths occur in low and middle income countries. Worldwide, the 5 most common types of cancer that kill men are (in order of frequency): lung, stomach, liver, colorectal and oesophagus. Worldwide, the 5 most common types of cancer that kill women are (in the order of frequency): breast, lung, stomach, colorectal and cervical. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world. One fifth of all cancers worldwide are caused by a chronic infection, for example human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer and hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes liver cancer.

A third of cancers could be cured if detected early and treated adequately. All patients in need of pain relief could be helped if current knowledge about pain control and palliative care were applied. More than 30% of cancer could be prevented, mainly by not using tobacco, having a healthy diet, being physically active and preventing infections that may cause cancer.

World Cancer Day 4 February 2011 Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. WHO estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. Each year on 4 February, WHO supports International Union Against Cancer to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer. Preventing cancer and raising quality of life for cancer patients are recurring themes
Cancer Modules

Planning: How to plan overall cancer control effectively, according to available resources and integrating cancer control with programmes for other chronic diseases and related problems.

Prevention: How to implement effective cancer prevention by controlling major avoidable cancer risk factors.

Early Detection: How to implement effective early detection of major types of cancer that are amenable to early diagnosis and screening.

Diagnosis and Treatment: How to implement effective cancer diagnosis and treatment, particularly linked to early detection programmes or curable cancers.

Palliative Care: How to implement effective palliative care for cancer, with a particular focus on community-based care.

Policy and Advocacy: How to advocate for policy development and effective programme implementation of cancer control.

58th World Health Assembly approved resolution on cancer prevention and control

For the first time in the history of WHO, an opportunity to reinforce comprehensive cancer policies and strategies among its member states has presented itself. Adopted cancer prevention and control resolution, May 2005 The 58th World Health Assembly resolution on cancer prevention and control (WHA58.22) adopted in May 2005, calls on Member States to intensify action against cancer by developing and reinforcing cancer control programmes. This is being done by implementing the four components of cancer control: prevention, early

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