World Cancer Day 2019

World Cancer day which took place on the 4th February empowers individuals and communities all over the world to show support, raise our collective voice and take personal action.

The theme for the years 2019 — 2021 is “I AM AND I WILL”.  This is an empowering call to action asking for a personal commitment to help reduce the impact of cancer.

Cancer is a disease which occurs when changes in a group of normal cells within the body lead to an uncontrolled, abnormal growth forming a lump called a tumour, this is true of all cancers except for leukaemia (cancer of the blood).  If left untreated, tumours can grow and spread into the surrounding normal tissue or to other parts of the body via the bloodstreams, and lymphatic systems, and can affect the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems or release hormones that may affect the body function.


  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide.
  • The International Agency for Research on cancer estimates that one in five men and one in six women worldwide will develop cancer over the course of their lifetime, and that one in eight men and one in eleven women will die from cancer. In 2018 around 9.6 million persons died from cancer (IARC 2018).
  • Approximately 70 % of all cancer deaths occur in low and middle income countries as they are least well placed to deliver the services needed by cancer patients or manage the social or economic consequences of this burden.
  • At least one third of common cancers are preventable. Genetic factors play a role in 5 – 10 % of cancers. 27 % of cancers relate to tobacco and alcohol use.
  • The total economic cost of cancer is US $ 1.16 trillion. This translates into loss of productivity and household income, reduction of quality of life, disability and ultimately premature deaths.
  • Up to 3.7 million lives could be saved by the adoption and implementation of appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment.


  • Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Seychelles. 20% of all deaths occurring in the Seychelles is due to cancer.
  • In 2018 and up to November a total number of 214 new cancer cases has been diagnosed of which 122 were males and 92 were females.
  • The five most common cancers occurring in men are — prostate, colorectal, oral cavity, larynx and stomach cancers and in women are — breast, colorectal, cervical, uterine and ovarian cancers.
  • A total numbers of 130 patients died from cancer.

In conclusion the World Cancer Day asked for your personal commitment to take positive action against cancer.  Achieving the global target of a 25 % reduction in premature deaths from cancer and other non-communicable diseases is possible if we act today.