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Cancer is becoming the Number 1 killer

Cancer will soon become the most threatening Non Communicable Disease (NCD) affecting Sri Lankans, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne says.

Addressing the function at the launch of the hotline to support cancer patients, Senaratne said heart disease was at the top of NCDs in Sri Lanka with cancer set to surpass it very soon.

Senaratne noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) in Sri Lanka has said that nearly 70% of deaths in Sri Lanka was caused by NCDs.

"NCDs is a global issue. In Sri Lanka cancer is becoming a huge concern. I took steps to remove threshold imposed on spending per cancer patient. Earlier the threshold was Rs 1.5 million. Sometimes, the treatment for cancer cost more than Rs 10 million. Therefore, removing the threshold was necessary," he said, adding that the only cancer treatment that is not available in Sri Lanka is borne marrow transplants, and that too will be introduced to the health system very soon.

According to WHO estimates, 138,000 people have died of cancer to date with breast cancer, liver cancer, mouth and Females oropharynx cancer and cervical cancer being amongst the more common forms of the killer disease.
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