At a ceremony marking World Cancer Day, the Ministry of Public Health said that over 23,000 positive cancer cases were reported nationwide last year (2022), and sixteen thousand died from cancer.
Speaking at the event, the deputy minister of public health services, Habibiullah Akhundzada, said that cancer is the highest cause of death worldwide after heart disease.
"This year, there are 38,554 cancer patients in Afghanistan. Last year, 23,000 new cancer cases were recorded, of which 16,000 died,” Akhundzada said.
According to health officials, the main causes of the rise in cancer cases in the nation are attributed to the use of tobacco, not exercising, excessive weight, consuming unhealthy foods, alcohol use, and air pollution.
"Everyone in the society, at any level, can assist and participate in the treatment of cancer, either in a basic way or in a powerful way,” said Zabiullah Hashemi, head of the National Cancer Control Program.
"The IR survey on cancer shows that twelve out of every 100 people have cancer, and eleven of them die," said Doctor Ahmad Siyer Pasoon, head of therapeutic medicine.
Some participants of the event think it's crucial to have these programs to inform people about cancer.
"Holding such programs is really important for the majority of people and especially for the people of our society who are behind in everything," said Dr Tamkin, a participant at the event.
"My personal opinion is that holding more programs like this would be better,” said Sediqa, another participant.
After heart disease, cancer has the greatest mortality rate worldwide. Statistics show that 44 million individuals globally were infected with this disease last year, and 10 million of them died.