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Cancer has become a serious public health problem in Ethiopia with an annual incidence of more than 200,000 cases, a senior health official said on Tuesday.In an interview with APA on Tuesday Dr. Aynalem Abraha Oncologist at Black Lion Hospital said although population-based data do not exist in the country, the annual incidence of cancer has increased by far more than three- folds from 60,960 four years ago.
According to the Oncologist the deadly disease accounts for six percent of the national mortality while breast cancer, cancer of the cervix and colorectal cancer being the major killers.
Dr Aynalem said in Ethiopian case, women are more vulnerable to cancer than men and uterine cervix and breast cancer causing two-thirds of annual cancer deaths among women.
“When the Cancer Center of the Black Lion Hospital was established in 1997, there were only 80 cancer patients but now 10,000 cancer patients are being treated at the center annually, excluding hundreds of thousands victims who never come to cancer treatment centers as most of them do not know there is due to cancer” he said.
Dr Aynalem attributed the increase in the occurrence of cancer to growing aging population and other as risk factors such as smoking, physical inactivity, overweight and changing reproductive patterns associated with urbanization and economic development.
Ethiopia has introduced a four year strategic plan to reduce the number of people who could develop and die of cancer. The plan also aims to ensure a better quality of life for those living with the disease.
The Oncologist, however, said the strategic plan, which was introduced two years ago, is not being implemented.
Source: APA News
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