Lung cancer is the most common among Turkish men while breast cancer is the most prevalent form of the disease among women in the country. Sunday was World Cancer Day and figures from the Health Ministry show that around164,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year in Turkey, roughly 450 people on a daily basis.
The figures show no significant decline or increase in the number of cases though the most common types of cancer for women and men remain the same. A little solace for the country is that it is still behind developed countries like the U.S. and the EU when it comes to the frequency of cancer cases.
After lung cancer, prostate cancer is the most common for men. The figures also show some 27,000 cases related to smoking were diagnosed last year. Turkey imposed a comprehensive smoking ban in public places in 2009 and struggles to curb the smoking rate with a set of measures. As for breast cancer, some 17,000 women were diagnosed with it last year according to the Health Ministry statistics.
Some 6,000 people were diagnosed with obesity-associated cancers, another disturbing condition which has been increasing in Turkey in recent years. One in every 10 children is obese in the country and experts are concerned about a further rise in the future if measures to stop the sedentary lifestyle and wrong nutrition habits are not taken.
As for children, leukemia was the most common cancer type in cases recorded last year.
In its fight against cancer, Turkey runs 198 centers, including 33 mobile units for early diagnosis, medical checks and awareness. The centers, especially mobile ones that offer screening tests, increase the chance of an early diagnosis.