Updated on 14 September 2015
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, director of South East Asia for the WHO
Singapore: WHO has urged member nations to bolster cancer prevention and control programs, in light of the region's annual 1.1 million deaths from cancer and 1.7 million new cancer cases.
Speaking at the recent SE Asian health ministers meet, WHO South-East Asia regional director Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, said, "We need to ensure comprehensive community cancer, including promotion, prevention of modifiable risk factors, early detection and treatment and the availability of affordable diagnostics, medical products and palliative care."
Dr Singh said that member nations must adopt a resolution and implement multisectoral action on primary prevention of cancer risk factors. These include tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, infections causing cancers, behavioral risk factors and exposure to environmental risk factors.
We should jointly increase public awareness to reduce modifiable risk factors and strengthening community-based interventions, she added. "Many cancer cases were preventable, she said, "they can be detected early and treated to improve survival rates and the quality of life of the affected persons."