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Cancer Mortality in Pakistan

By: Sana Samad

Cancer is called the most deadly disease in the world including Pakistan, where millions of people are dying. According to World Cancer Report, in a year nearly 10 million people are infected by cancer and in 2020, the cancer patients will be 16 million and from them half of people will die. In Pakistan each year, more than 300,000 people are being affected by cancer and mostly the cases are occurring in Punjab.

Unfortunately, Pakistan is included among the few developing countries where cancer among children has become a serious issue and increasing on daily basis. Due to poor cancer awareness, inability to afford treatment and dearth of trained human resources, the children are losing their lives of cancer and other deadliest diseases.

Nearly 70 million children are suffering from cancer under the age of 15 and 6,000 children get afflicted with cancer each year. Unfortunately from them 60 percent children are deprived from proper diagnosis and treatment. Mostly the cases are occurring in Sindh, with 47 percent in Karachi, while six percent in Balochistan and other cases are taking place in other parts of the country.

Breast cancer has been the most dangerous type of cancer and it has become a threat to the people of Pakistan. Our country is on top in the list of breast cancer in Asia. The reason can be called the lack of awareness among the people. Each year 0.3 million people die and Khyber Pakhtanka is on top with around 44,000 patients.

Apart from this, women are facing serious trouble due to breast cancer as it is really dangerous for women and mostly affect the them. Nearly half of our population belongs to poverty so people are unable to spend money for their treatment. A cancer hospital, Shaukat Khanum hospital was built in Lahore by Imran Khan to treat the patients without any cost. Unfortunately, only few people are getting treatment and 60 percent of cancer patients are deprived of their treatment and dying miserably.

Lung cancer has became an emerging type of cancer which has become very common. Some hospitals are offering lung cancer treatment but it is just available for wealthy people. The poor are deprived of its treatment and people die without doing anything for their safety. WHO estimated that 13 percent death is caused by lung cancer from total cancer diseases. Mostly the smokers are afflicted, as 90 percent of smokers face this problem while 10 percent are non-smokers.

The tobacco use causes many cancer types of disease including oral, lung, bladder, head and neck cancer which are making the public health worse. Nearly 70 percent causes of cancer are occurring in Pakistan just due to tobacco. Most of the tobacco types are very common such as cigarette, Sheesha and Gutka.

Published in The Balochistan Point on February 04, 2017

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