World Cancer Day aims to break away from stereotypes

World Cancer Day aims to break away from stereotypes
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 8:21pm

A number of countries marked World Cancer Day on Monday, February 4th and one expert said more must be done to debunk myths about the disease.

One myth is cancer only affects rich countries but that is not the case. 

"One of the most persistent myths about cancer is that it is a mainly a disease of wealthy countries. In fact around 70% of cancer deaths occur in developing countries." said Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Many countries in Africa are recording increasing cases of cancer, but few have the resources for affordable health care for patients. 

Zambia opened its only cancer treatment clinic in 2007. It's located in the capital so hundreds of patients cannot take advantage of it.  Most African countries need high-tech equipment, affordable drugs and trained doctors to fight the disease while many cancers are linked to lifestyle factors like unhealthy diets and smoking, a large number, especially in Africa, are caused by infections like Hepatitis B and C. 

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