The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is suggesting to Government of Ghana to increase taxes of cigarette, alcohol, and sugar sweetening beverages as part of interventions to reduce cancer among the youth.

Health experts observed the rate at which cancer is causing premature death among the Ghanaian youth is alarming. As World Cancer Day is marked, the youth have also been advised to live a healthy lifestyle to minimize the chance of getting any form of cancer.

Though there are no population-based data available for cancer morbidity and mortality patterns in Ghana due to the absence of a population-based cancer registry, health professionals are worried about the rising burden of cancer among the youth.

Report indicates most males are dying from lung and stomach cancer whiles breast and cervical cancer are also leading cause of cancer death in females. Some studies have strongly associated cancer with risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and sugary food intake. The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is therefore asking the government to implement policies that will restrict access to these products.

At a forum organized by Breast Care International, a member of UICC to mark the World Cancer Day, President and Founder of BCI Dr Beatrice Wiafe Addai said “taxing these products will help government get more money to support the cancer control mechanisms in the country”. “The youth are dying prematurely from cancers and something ought to be done to minimize this. Because, as a developing country, we don’t have adequate resources in treating all cancers, our best bet is to prevent our youth from developing these diseases,” she added.

Dr. Wiafe said, as a public health issue, cancers required the attention and commitment of all, pursuant to closing the care gap. The international celebration of the day is led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) poised to achieving the set target of a cancer-free world envisaged in the year 2000, when the day was established at the world summit against cancer.

At the Peace and Love hospital, health professionals took turns to educate the public on preventive ways of developing cancer and also the importance of reporting to the health facility on time for treatment.