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World Cancer Day 2021

World Cancer Day 2021 – Cancer Care and COVID-19: The IAEA's Response

4 February 2021, Vienna, Austria

World Cancer Day 2021

Cancer remains the second deadliest affliction worldwide proving fatal to one-in-six people in 2018. Although many cancers may be preventable, not everyone enjoys equal access to life-saving early diagnosis or treatment. The developing world endures the lion’s share of the cancer burden making the gap between low- and middle-income countries, and high-income countries more pronounced. For example, 300,000 women die of cervical cancer each year in developing countries in stark contrast to more affluent countries.

The Covid-19 pandemic has placed an additional strain on cancer services making it more difficult for people to receive the care they need. In seeking alternatives to overcome various obstacles, this has led to more innovation and a greater emphasis on virtual or “telehealth”.

The IAEA supports national governments in using nuclear science and technology to better diagnose, treat and manage this disease. It also helps Member States in procuring equipment, training medical professionals and resource mobilization.

Five Ways Nuclear Science Helps Cancer Patients

Find out how nuclear science plays a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, from radiotherapy to radiopharmaceuticals to sterilising medical equipment. Cancer is one of the main causes of death worldwide. 10 million people die each year from cancer and the number is growing. More than one third of cancer cases can be prevented. Another third can be cured if detected early and treated properly. The IAEA helps countries increase access to life-saving nuclear techniques.

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