Banner CANCERDay20 ENG Slide1

The global cancer community commemorates World Cancer Day, on February 4, with the slogan ''I Am and I Will'. PAHO joins this campaign to call everyone, collectively and individually, to commit to strengthen actions aimed to reduce the impact of cancer. This can be achieved by reducing cancer risk factors, screening and detecting cancer at early stages, and improving access to diagnosis, adequate treatment and palliative care.

Cancer in the Americas

In the Americas, cancer is the second leading cause of death, where are an estimated 3.8 million people were newly diagnosed and 1.4 million people died from the disease in 2018. Approximately, 57% of new cancer cases and 47% of cancer deaths occurred in people 69 years of age and younger, in the prime of their lives.

The most frequently diagnosed types of cancer among men are: prostate (21.7%), lung (9.5%), colorectal (8%), bladder (4.6%) and stomach (2.9%). Among women, the types of cancer with the highest incidence are: breast (25.2%), lung (8.5%), colorectal (8.2%), thyroid (5.4 %) and cervical (3.9%)

The type of cancers with the highest mortality in men are: lung (19.6%), prostate (12.1%), colorectal (9.3%), liver (65) and stomach ( 5.4%). The cancers that cause the most deaths among women are: lung (17.4%), breast (15.1%), colorectal (9.5%) and cervical (5.2% ).

Cancer prevention

WCD20 Posters A3 Campaign FA ENGLISH FOTOalt4Cancer can be prevented and controlled by implementing evidence-based strategies for cancer prevention, screening and early detection, treatment and palliative care. The most common modifiable risk factors for cancer, which are shared with many other noncommunicable diseases, are:

        • Tobacco use
        • Low fruit and vegetable intake
        • Harmful use of alcohol
        • Lack of physical activity

Some specific risk factors for cancer include chronic infections from human papilloma virus (HPV) -for cervical cancer-, hepatitis B and C - for liver cancer-, and H.pylori -for stomach cancer.

It is estimated that 30-40 percent of cancers can be prevented by reducing these risk factors. Public health policies can be put in place to support individual healthy lifestyle choices, and that make them the easy choice. Many other cancer types, notably cervical, breast and colorectal cancer can be detected early and treated effectively through organized screening and early detection programs, and access to timely cancer treatment.

Cancer can be prevented and controlled by implementing evidence-based strategies for cancer prevention, screening and early detection, treatment and palliative care. PAHO/WHO is working with its member countries in different aspects related to cancer prevention and control.

Cervical cancer prevention and control

Approximately 72,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2018 and almost 34,000 died from it in the Region of the Americas. Cervical cancer is preventable through HPV vaccination and also with screening and treatment of precancerous lesions, It can be effectively treated if diagnosed in its early stages.

"It´s time to end cervical cancer" is the slogan for the communication campaign with materials, information and stories available for Ministries of Health and health institutions to promote cervical cancer prevention through HPV vaccination and screening and treatment of precancerous lesions.

Join the campaign