The troubling new statistic comes directly from the World Health Organization (WHO), which is now working with the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the International Atomic Energy Agency and other partners to establish a new global breast cancer initiative later in 2021.
WHO wants to reduce breast cancer deaths by promoting breast health, improving timely cancer detection and ensuring access to quality care.
Covid-19 impacts cancer diagnoses and preventative care
Issues of late-stage cancer diagnosis and a lack of access to treatment have been exacerbated by the global pandemic, says WHO. Indeed, a previous report from the organisation highlighted that treatment for cancer had been disrupted in more than 40 per cent of worldwide destinations surveyed.
Digital assistance offerings to help combat cancer
Telemedicine was identified as a key provision that had come about as health professionals adapted treatment to meet the needs of patients, providing support for individuals living with cancer.
Remote care has played a key role in continuing international assistance services for employees and international private medical insurance members living with chronic disease, among them cancer. But WHO notes that healthcare institutions need to take it one step further, enhancing efforts to both prevent and control cancer.
One way to do so would be to promote breast health, as well as overall health – WHO cites that changes in lifestyle, such as unhealthy diets, insufficient physical activity, use of tobacco and harmful use of alcohol, have all contributed to the increasing cancer burden.
Another factor that increases the risk of cancer is increased longevity – Dr Leena Johns of MAXIS GBN told Hospitals & Healthcare that providers should seriously consider adapting their assistance offerings to mitigate the many risks that followed an increasingly ageing workforce – among them the increased risk of cancer.