Why Is Early Diagnosis Important?
According to GLOBOCAN database, cancer is among the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, with approximately 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million people dying from cancer in 2012. The number of new cases are expected to rise by about 70% over the next two decades. Africa, Asia, and Central and South America accounts for more than 60% of world’s new cases and 65% of world’s cancer related deaths. The cancer incidence is increasing because of increase in aging population as well as an increasing prevalence of established risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, obesity, and physical inactivity.
Early Cancer Detection…….Saves Lives....
Cancer such as skin, cervical, breast, colorectal and oral can be diagnosed and treated at an early stage if person is aware of their signs and symptoms. Early diagnosis is particularly relevant when there is no effective screening methods or in places where no screening and treatment interventions can be implemented because of low-resource settings. In the absence of any early diagnosis or screening and treatment interventions, diagnoses is at very late stages leading to physical, financial,and emotional stress to patients and their families.
Historically, the death rate associated with oral cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to diagnose, but due to the fact that cancer is routinely discovered late in its development. According to Health Canada, the number of new cases and death due to oral cancer is predicted to be almost three times higher than that of cervical cancer in 2009. When diagnosed at an early stage, oral cancer survival rate is 80 to 90%.However, majority of oral cancers are diagnosed in late stage, with 5-year survival rate of 43%, and high treatment related morbidity in survivors. It is generally acknowledged that both prevention and screening of oral cancer are important, and the early diagnosis of oral cancer may result in less aggressive treatment, which in turn not only improves the quality-of-life but also the overall 5-year survival rate.