Palestinian Ministry of Health official statistics revealed that the rate of cancer patients in Palestine reached 83.8 per one 100 thousand persons, 83.9 cases per 100 thousand persons in Gaza and 83.8 cases per 100 thousand persons in the West Bank.
The Ministry of Health said in a statistical report, on World Cancer Day Feb 4, that 52.5% of the new cancer cases are females and 47.4% are males.
In 2015, 3,927 new cancer cases were reported in Palestine, 2,400 of which were in the West Bank and 1,527 were in the Gaza Strip, the report added.
The Ministry pointed out that 34.4% of the cancer cases occurred in the age group of above than 65 years, which equals 2.9% of the population. However, 59.8% of the cancer cases occurred in the age group of 15-64 and 6.8% of the cancer cases occurred in the age group of less than 15.
Breast cancer ranks first
Breast cancer ranks first since it constitutes 17.8% of all cancer cases, according to Dr. Jawad al-Bitar, the director of the ministry’s Health Information Center.
“Breast cancer also came first for cancers that affect women in Palestine, which reached 33.7% with a rate of 33.1 new cases per 100 thousand females in Palestine annually,” he added.
Colon Cancer comes second regarding cancer cases with the rate of 9.4%. Lung cancer comes third with the rate of 8.7%, but it its ranked first for cancers that affect males, which reached 14.3% and 12.3% new cases per 100 thousand males in Palestine annually, he pointed out.
The data of the National Cancer Registry in Palestine, a section of the Health Information Center, shows that the five cancers, breasts, lung, colon, leukemia and brain, constitute a rate of 58.6% of the cancer cases leading to death among Palestinians, more than half cancer deaths in Palestine.
Leukemia is the most common among children with a rate of 30.2% followed by brain cancer with a rate of 18.5%, he continued.
Al-Bitar pointed out that in the past five years cancer was the second leading cause of death in Palestine after cardiovascular diseases.
Cancer caused 13.8% of deaths in Palestine
The Ministry of Health said that 13.8% of Palestinians die because of cancer, 13.2% of which are in Gaza and 14.1% are in the West Bank.
In 2015, 1,746 Palestinians died because of cancer, 656 were in Gaza and 1,090 were in the West Bank.
Cancer deaths among Palestinians reached 42 deaths per 100 thousand persons, 52.9% were males and 47.1% were females, the report explained.
Meanwhile, lung cancer ranks first in deaths caused by cancer in Palestine, 17.5%, followed by colon cancer, 12.4%. Breast cancer reached a rate of 11.2% of deaths caused by cancer in Palestine followed by brain cancer, 11.2%, and leukemia, 8.6%, the Ministry of Health said.
For males who died because of cancer, lung cancer was the main cause with a rate of 27%, 27.5% of which are in Gaza and 26.7% are in the West Bank, followed by Colon cancer with a rate of 11.2%. For females, however, breast cancer ranks first regarding deaths caused by cancer with a rate of 23.2%, 22.8% in Gaza and 23.3% in the West Bank, followed by colon cancer with a rate of 13.7%, the Ministry added.
Number one leading cause of death worldwide
The fourth of February marks World Cancer Day in which the Palestinian Ministry of health joins the International Union against Cancer and the World Health Organization to promote ways to ease the burden of cancer as efforts are focused on the importance of prevention of cancer, detection of early signs of cancer, and improving the life quality of patients.
The campaign in 2017 aims at taking a positive attitude through the publication of hopeful messages about fighting cancer with a motto of “We can. I can,” which means we can fight cancer by making the right choices.
Cancer is now ranked as the first leading cause of death worldwide in which most cases occur due to high body mass and obesity rate, lack of eating fruits and vegetables, lack of physical activity, and smoking, as well as other factors.
Efforts to develop current services
According to the report, the Ministry of Health is exerting enormous efforts to develop its services and capabilities in this area by spending millions of dollars of its budget to treat cancer patients.
In this regard, Health Minister, Jawad Awad, said that he is working tirelessly to establish Martyr Khaled Hassan Medical Center for Cancer and bone marrow to resettle many therapeutic services in order to ease and end the suffering of many Palestinian families.
The Ministry of Health carried out, with partners from health providers, a national strategy for prevention and control of cancer, which seeks to reduce cancer cases among Palestinian citizens through preventive measures and programs for the early detection in addition to providing appropriate care for patients, he added.
Also, the Ministry of Health has adopted a free national survey of breast cancer among Palestinian women. For this purpose, the Ministry provided in all provinces mammography devices, he continued.
Cancer patients are being diagnosed and treated in the hospitals of the Ministry of Health particularly at Al-Hussein Hospital in Beit Jala, which is considered the main center in the West Bank. The hospital’s section for treating children tumors named “Huda al-Masri”, was designed according to international specifications, he added.
(Source / 05.02.2017)