Category: cancer

Search for an immortal cure: The urgent need for global cancer care

By Centre for Health Policy Intern Natasha Chainani

A few days ago, the American Cancer Society reported an incidence of 4.3 million cancer cases in China in 2015 alone along with 2.8 million deaths due to cancer[1].

A few years ago, during my early teens, when I was just learning the ways of the world, I was told I had lost family members to cancer. Throat cancer and pancreatic cancer to be precise.

A few decades ago, the scientific and clinical world was just discovering what cancer was and its capabilities.

And today, 4th February 2016 is World Cancer Day.

Suppressing Hepatitis B to reduce the burden of liver cancer

Today, the 28th July, is World Hepatitis Day and the birthday of Nobel Laureate Professor Baruch (Barry) Blumberg, discoverer of the hepatitis B virus and developer of the first hepatitis B vaccine.

Viral hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver, caused a variety of viruses, named alphabetically from A to E. These are spread mostly through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. With hepatitis B, it can also be passed between mothers and children, sexual partners and between patients and health workers where unsafe medical practice occurs. The prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in injection drug users is also very high, while approximately 10% of the world’s population is currently infected or has been exposed.

Liver cancer in the Gambia and what we are doing about it

By Imperial Medical Student, Aisha Chaudry

As part of my gap year placement, I was given the opportunity to be involved in the PROLIFICA study at the Medical Research Council Unit (MRC) in The Gambia.

PROLIFICA is an EC funded project investigating liver cancer, which arises because of cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, a chronic condition that can stop the liver from functioning.

Having reached my halfway point of my time abroad, I have decided to write a report about my experience so far.

Whilst being at the MRC, I have been able to experience research in both a clinical and laboratory setting.

World Cancer Day 2015

Today, 4th February, is World Cancer Day.  Taking place under the tagline ‘Not beyond us’, World Cancer Day 2015 will take a positive and proactive approach to the fight against cancer, highlighting that solutions do exist across the continuum of cancer, and that they are within our reach.

The campaign will explore how we can implement what we already know in the areas of prevention, early detection, treatment and care, and in turn, open up to the exciting prospect that we can impact the global cancer burden – for the better.

World Cancer Day is a unique opportunity to raise awareness that there is much that can be done at an individual, community and governmental level, to harness and mobilise these solutions and catalyse positive change.

Prevention of Liver Fibrosis and Cancer in Africa

By Professor Simon Taylor-Robinson and Professor Mark Thursz

The problem

Liver cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide, with an estimated annual mortality rate of 500,000 with a survival rate of less than 5%.

Cirrhosis (scarring of the liver as a result of continuous, long-term liver damage) is the main risk factor for the development of liver cancer in developing countries, such as in West Africa, where viral hepatitis B is the major cause of cirrhosis.

Generally, late presentation of patients with liver cancer results in poor prognosis, due mainly to insufficient and lack of affordable screening tools for early tumour detection.

A tidal wave of cancer

By Jeremy Laurance

Looked at in one way, the warning from the World Health Organisation of a tidal wave of cancer sweeping the globe over the next 20 years is good news. Cancer is a disease of old age – it means more of the world’s peoples are surviving long enough to get it.

But while it is good to grow old (rather than die young) no one wants to die of cancer. Many cancers still kill people before their time. And cancer imposes an immense and growing burden on families, health systems and states. Hence the WHO’s alarm call.

The organisation estimates the worldwide burden will rise by 70 per cent from 14 million cases in 2012 to 24 million in 2035, much of it borne by poorer countries.