Over 7,500 Maldivians treated for cancer in three years

Dr. Mohamed Amru Ahmed, the first Maldivian medical and radiation oncologist, pictured performing a surgery. (Photo/Dr. Mohamed Amru Ahmed)

Cancer is the cause of 17 percent of deaths in Maldives, with over 7,500 people treated for cancer in just three years, according to statistics released by the Health Ministry.

The Health Ministry released the statistics in a statement on occasion of World Cancer Day, marked on February 4.

In the statement, Health Ministry noted that cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths in Maldives.

Data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO) three years ago show cancer is the cause of 17 percent of deaths in Maldives. Meanwhile, data released by Aasandha shows over 7,500 people sought treatment for cancer between 2016 and 2019.

The most prevalent type of cancer diagnosed among males is lung cancer, while the most prevalent type of cancer among females is breast cancer.

The types of cancer most common among males, in addition to lung cancer, are colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach and liver cancer.

Meanwhile, the types of cancer most common among females, in addition to breast cancer, are colorectal cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, and thyroid cancer.

There are some bad habits that could lead to cancer - many of them linked to unhealthy lifestyles. This includes chewing areca nuts, smoking, lack of exercise, and being overweight.

Health experts advice people to do regular checkups, exercise regularly, and get vaccinated against hepatitis B and human papilloma virus (HPV) as preventive measures against cancer.