Cancer: more treatment, of survivors, but also of the sick

News 2 February, 2018
  • AFP

    Friday, February 2, 2018 06:40

    Friday, February 2, 2018 06:40

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    Paris | cancer research provides more treatment and made progress in the survival, but the world cancer Day Sunday is the occasion to remember that there are more and more sick.

    Cancer, or all of the pathological conditions that are grouped under this generic name, has killed 8.8 million people by 2015, according to the world health Organization.

    This makes it the second leading cause of death worldwide, after cardiovascular diseases.

    The paradox is that we survive better and better thanks to advances in medicine, but that the number of cases increases. According to the WHO, it is expected to increase by 70% over the two decades to come.

    “It is known to prevent. We know tested. It is known to heal, better and better. We know how to take charge. And, at best, is treading water in the fight against cancer,” said AFP Christophe Leroux, delegate to the communication from the Ligue contre le cancer in France.

    For the organization, which is celebrating its 100 years this year, the fight is never finished.

    Several factors explain the increasing frequency of the disease in the world.

    First, the aging of the population, since the risk of getting a cancer increases with age.

    Then, there are the structural factors. The ravages of tobacco, the first product responsible for the cancer in the world. The ” junk food “, the generalization in the world of industrial food that advance obesity, risk factor.

    Finally, industrialization and urbanization, uncontrolled, to the origin of cancer due to exposure to pollutants such as asbestos, heavy metals, dioxins, fine particles, etc

    Inequalities in the face of care

    A study just published by the journal Lancet, focused on 37.5 million patients between 2000 and 2014, shows that survival is nonetheless progressing.

    “If we want less deaths from cancer, there are two ways: first prevention, second improve outcomes” for people with dementia, told AFP one of its authors, Michel Coleman, an epidemiologist of the School of hygiene and tropical medicine, London.

    For breast cancer, for example, the survival remains high in the richest countries of the world (90% in the United States, 87% in France, for example), and it has increased significantly in developing countries.

    In Africa, data are very incomplete, are encouraging: 77% of women with surviving in 2010-2014, compared to 39% in 2000-2004.

    And in cancer, as elsewhere, money is the sinews of war. “Fairness” is the theme of this world Day in 2018. And the amounts needed to cure cancer are so high that this equity is very uncertain today.

    “It seems plausible that the global cost of treatment and care of cancer in 2017 should already have exceeded $ 300 billion,” according to the researchers who have published in Lancet.

    Another study, in Cancer Epidemiology, estimated at 46 billion dollars in lost productivity each year in the five countries of the “Brics” (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which account for 42% of deaths from cancer.

    “The lack of access to treatments causes of premature deaths that could have been avoided,” stresses Sanchia Aranda, director general of the Cancer Council Australia.

    The research is progressing, however, whether fundamental or applied, with more and more studies, laboratories, treatments.

    In may, the group of services to the pharmaceutical industry Iqvia were more of “600 molecules at the final stage of development” in the world, compared to some 400 a decade ago. But all patients do not benefit from them as quickly.