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Early prevention and diagnosis: the keys to dealing with cancer

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This disease, which for years was called silent, currently has important advances in prevention and treatment, but due to different social and economic factors, mortality figures remain high.

Improving access and the level of medical care, infrastructure, greater financing, human resources and availability of treatments are some of the challenges facing the world, in general, to improve the outlook against this disease.

And it is that every two minutes, five people receive a diagnosis of cancer in Latin America and annually in Colombia there are approximately more than 71,000 new cases of cancer patients. In women, the most frequent are breast, cervical and thyroid cancer. In the case of men, it is prostate, gastric and colorectal cancer.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, linked to the WHO, in a report presented in September 2018, the outlook for the appearance of cancer in the world is not at all encouraging, since the Global Cancer Observatory argued that by 2040 , the incidence of the disease will grow by 63%, and the number of deaths will reach 71.5%.

But what is most worrying is that in less developed countries, such as Colombia, it is expected that the number of cases will grow by 78% in the next 21 years, thus reaching 2.5 million annually, which implies a increase in deaths, reaching 1.3 million per year.

However, the study Saving Lives, Spending Less: A Strategic Response to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), carried out by the WHO, shows that for every dollar invested in prevention, it is possible to save USD 2.74 in treatment, that is to say that the bet is on generating education and prevention campaigns that allow reducing cases.

In addition, it is important to keep in mind that for some types of cancer, the chances of cure exceed 90% when the diagnosis is made in the early stages of the disease, another challenge and opportunity for the country to reduce these figures.

But the responsibility does not fall only on the government and the entities in charge of the country's health, this is a commitment of all, since having healthy habits, an adequate body weight and having a routine of physical activity, at least 3 times a week, helps reduce the chances of suffering from this disease, without neglecting the importance of reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption.

Together we can successfully prevent, detect early and treat cancer!

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