Weekend News

Belize celebrates World Cancer Day 2018

By Benjamin Flowers
Today marks the 12th celebration of World Cancer Day, a global event used to raise awareness about various aspects of cancer including the most common types and risk factors
World Cancer Day, celebrated annually since 2006, is the brainchild of the Union for International Cancer Control and endorsed by the World Health Organization. During the day, government bodies and NGO’s hold various activities to highlight the fight against cancer either by supporting those who are battling it or saluting those that have died because of it.
Statistics from the WHO, published this month show that around 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries. Around one-third of deaths from cancer are due to the 5 leading behavioural and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use. Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer deaths.
Belize, like the rest of the world, is also actively involved in the fight against cancer. According to the Ministry of Health 120 cancer warriors died in 2017 alone. Between 2010-2017 puts the number of cancer-related deaths around 1,414. Cervical cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer in Belize. Breast cancer has also consistently had a high prevalence rate.
That data is aligned with global statistics, which put cervical and breast cancer in the top five causes of cancer deaths. The Belize Cancer Society holds an annual walk in June to raise funds and awareness. The walk is widely supported by the public and private sector and Belizeans in general.
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