Are cancer rates on the rise in Azerbaijan?
The number of registered cancer patients in Azerbaijan over the past 14 years has more than doubled.
Facebook users are avidly discussing these statistics and discussing the possible reasons for the spike in cancer rates.
What has happened: has the disease become better diagnosed, or are residents of Azerbaijan becoming more susceptible to the disease because of stress and the environment?
At present, 48,685 cancer patients are officially registered in Azerbaijan, reports Trend.
In 2005, there were 23,088;
in 2010 – 28 052
in 2015 – 40 653
in 2017 – 45,756
Last year, about 113 people per 100,000 were diagnosed with cancer.
Most of them are over 40 years old, men and women are approximately equally divided. The most common cancer is breast cancer.
According to the World Health Organization, cancer causes one in six deaths in the world.
About 70% of such deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. At the same time, oncology is diagnosed more often in developed countries.
In terms of the number of diagnoses per capita, Australia is now “leading” (468 people for every one hundred thousand).
Possible reasons behind the spike
The local medical community has no consensus as to what causes tumors – scientists continue to argue whether cancer develops due to malnutrition, radiation, viruses, stress, hormonal disorders or genetic predisposition.
The head doctor of the Baku Oncology Clinic Nasimi Qasimov says that the main risk factors are smoking and being overweight.
On Azerbaijani social media, people have put forward their versions of why there are more and more cancer patients in the country:
“This is a catastrophe! It’s scary to think what they feed us, not to mention the air we breathe”
“These are good statistics! It means that we have become better at diagnosing oncology. If the disease is detected on time, the chances of a cure increase.”
“On the contrary, in Azerbaijan they have not yet learned how to properly diagnose or treat! Those who have the opportunity are treated in Turkey, Germany, Russia. And those who do not have such an opportunity are dying here. The treatment and medicines are terribly expensive, and the qualifications of most doctors are low.”