Aisha Alhassan, minister of women affairs and social development, on Monday, said not less than 240 Nigerians die daily as a result of cancer.

The minister said the Nigerian cancer death ratio of four to five contracted cases is one of the worst in the world.

Alhassan said this in Ilorin, Kwara during the inauguration of a cancer centre by the Life Empowers Anchors Hope (LEAH).

The minister said the World Health Organisation (WHO) records indicate that over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually and about 80,000 die from the disease.

“This comes to almost 240 Nigerians dying every day or 10 Nigerians every hour from cancer,” she said.

She noted that cancer is now responsible for almost one in six deaths globally and each year.

Alhassan lamented that two-thirds of these deaths occur in developing countries, adding that one in every three persons will be diagnosed with cancer in their life time.

“More than 14 million people are said to develop cancer every year and this figure is projected to rise to over 21 million by 2030,” she said.

The minister noted that cancer had become the greatest health epidemic of the 21st century, surpassing deaths attributed to human deficiency syndrome (HIV), tuberculosis and malaria combined.

“Statistic have shown that global causes of cancer are 25 per cent infections, 25 per cent diseases, 25 per cent hereditary genetics and 25 per cent environmental and behavioural factors, while 25 per cent are unknown,” she added.

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