WHO launches new roadmap on breast cancer

Breast cancer, WHO,

To achieve the goals of preventing 2.5 million deaths from breast cancer by 2040, the World Health Organization, WHO today unveiled a new Global Breast Cancer Initiative Framework. To achieve the goals, the new Framework, which was unveiled ahead of the World Cancer Day campaign, urges nations to follow the three pillars of health promotion for early detection, prompt diagnosis, and thorough management of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in people, with more than 2.3 million cases diagnosed each year. It is the primary or secondary cause of mortality for women from cancer in 95% of the world’s nations. However, there is a significant disparity in breast cancer survival rates between and within nations; In low- and middle-income nations, breast and cervical cancer mortality account for over 80% of all fatalities.

The increasing burden of breast cancer is hardest to handle in nations with weaker health systems. “We have the tools and the know-how to prevent breast cancer and save lives. It puts a tremendous strain on individuals, families, communities, health systems, and economies, so it must be a priority for ministries of health and governments everywhere,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. Furthermore, he said, “in order to identify breast cancer sooner, diagnose it faster, treat it better, and provide everyone who has breast cancer the hope of a cancer-free future”. WHO is providing support to more than 70 countries, particularly low- and middle-income nations.

Breast cancer and other forms of cancer in women have a terrible effect on future generations. According to a 2020 study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, with an estimated 4.4 million women expected to pass away from cancer in that year, roughly 1 million children were left orphaned by cancer, with breast cancer accounting for 25% of those cases. Children whose moms die from cancer suffer health and scholastic disadvantages for the rest of their life, often resulting in generational, ongoing social instability and financial hardship.

The engagement and integration of this framework into primary healthcare must be ensured by the nations. According to Dr. Bente Mikkelsen, WHO Director for Noncommunicable Diseases, this endeavor will not only assist health promotion but also empower women to seek and receive health care throughout the life cycle.”We can really see a pathway to universal health coverage with effective and sustainable primary health care.”

The recently released framework makes use of tried-and-true techniques to create resource-appropriate, country-specific health systems for the provision of breast cancer care in low- and middle-income settings. It provides three action pillars and their corresponding critical performance indicators:

  1. Urging nations to prioritize early-detection programs for breast cancer so that at least 60% of cases are identified and treated when still in the early stages.
  2. Breast cancer outcomes can be improved by receiving a diagnosis within 60 days of the disease’s initial manifestation. Three months after the initial appearance, treatment should begin.
  3. Taking care of breast cancer to ensure that at least 80% of patients follow their prescribed course of therapy.

Accelerating the WHO‘s Global Breast Cancer Initiative’s implementation has the ability to prevent not just the associated, generational effects of the millions of preventable female cancer deaths.

The Resolution Cancer prevention and control in the framework of an integrated approach was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2017. In addition to advocating for the eradication of cervical cancer and a doubling of childhood cancer survival rates, the WHO has since 2018 launched integrated programs in women’s and children’s malignancies. Together, these programs have the potential to reverse the generational harm caused by cancer and save more than a million lives over the course of the next ten years. WHO requests participation from governments, development partners, businesses, and individuals to bridge the care gap and stop the generational effects of cancer.

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