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7,500 New Cancer Cases Annually

As Zimbabwe observes World Cancer Day, recent statistics from the Cancer Association of Zimbabwe (CAZ) paint a grim picture of the nation’s battle against cancer. With over 7,500 new cases and 2,500 deaths annually, cancer has emerged as a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the country.

According to CAZ, the most prevalent cancers among Zimbabweans include cervix uteri, prostate, breast, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), oesophagus, Kaposi sarcoma (KS), colo-rectal, stomach, and liver cancers. Despite the availability of treatment options, a staggering 80 percent of cancer cases are reported late, significantly reducing the chances of successful treatment and increasing the financial burden on patients and families.

Mr. Lovemore Makurirofa, CAZ’s information, research, and evaluation officer, emphasized the importance of prevention, early detection, treatment, and care in the fight against cancer. He underscored the need for public awareness and education to dispel myths and misconceptions surrounding the disease, which often act as barriers to timely diagnosis and treatment.

Decentralization of cervical cancer screening services, spearheaded by the government and its partners with over 100 facilities nationwide, is cited as a crucial strategy in addressing the prevalence of the disease. However, Mr. Makurirofa cautioned against unproven alternative treatments, urging cancer patients to seek advice from accredited medical practitioners.

As Zimbabweans join the global community in commemorating World Cancer Day under the theme “Close the care gap,” the call for action becomes more urgent. Efforts to improve access to screening, diagnosis, and treatment services must be intensified to reverse the rising tide of cancer-related morbidity and mortality in the country.

The collective commitment of government agencies, healthcare providers, civil society organizations, and individuals is paramount in confronting this public health challenge and ensuring that every Zimbabwean has access to quality cancer care. As the nation reflects on World Cancer Day, the message is clear: early detection saves lives, and together, we can close the care gap and combat cancer effectively.

Source ZimEye

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