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Monday, May 27, 2024

46 die of cancer every day in Sri Lanka: NCCU Director

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Some 46 people die of cancer every day in Sri Lanka out of the 105 cancer patients who are detected daily, the National Cancer Control Unit (NCCU) Director Dr. Ishani Fernando said today.

She told a news conference at the Health Promotion Bureau in line with the World Cancer Day which falls on February 4, a total of 38,229 new cancer patients were detected in 2020 and 16,691 out of them died due to the disease.

She said it was observed that females were prone to get cancer whereas the mortality was high among the males.

“A total of 20,395 females and 17,834 males were diagnosed with cancer in 2020. 50 percent of the patients who are diagnosed with cancer die,” she said.

When asked about the drug shortage for cancer patients, the Director said there was a shortage of drugs and added that a mechanism was in place to obtain the drugs where drugs are purchased through the World Health Organization (WHO). “That process also takes about six months,” she said.

Dr. Prasad Abeysinghe, Oncologist and Cancer specialist of the National Cancer Institute said there was a tendency of specialists including radiologists who migrate for foreign training to remain in those countries without returning to Sri Lanka for practice.

He said it was a serious concern which should be addressed soon and added that the government should have a plan to encourage them to return and practice here. 


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