Treatable infections cause one in six cases of cancer
According to new research, two million cases of cancer which occur around the world every year could be prevented.
It is thought one in six new cases of the disease are caused by infections that are preventable and treatable.
An estimated 80 percent of these occur in the developing world, and it is thought four main infections are to blame.
The human papillomaviruses (HPV), hepatitis B and C and Helicobater pylori were responsible for causing 1.9 million incidences of stomach, liver and cervical cancer.
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The team behind the study, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, are now calling for cancer to be recognised as a communicable disease.
They also say efforts to prevent the four main infections must be stepped up.
As part of the study, the researchers reviewed incidence data of 27 different strains of cancer from 184 countries across the world.
Infection-related cancers were much more common in countries in the developing world than they were in first-world countries.
For example, in east Asia 22.9 percent of cancers were caused by such infections, bacteria and parasites, compared to just 7.4 percent in the UK.
Meanwhile in countries in the sub-Saharan African region, 32.7 percent of new cases of cancer are infection-related, but in Australia and New Zealand the figure stands at 3.3 percent.
Commenting on the findings, Catherine de Martel and Martyn Plummer, the lead authors of the study, said: “Infections with certain viruses, bacteria, and parasites are one of the biggest and preventable causes of cancer worldwide.
“Application of existing public-health methods for infection prevention, such as vaccination, safer injection practice, or antimicrobial treatments, could have a substantial effect on future burden of cancer worldwide.”
Jessica Harris, Cancer Research UK’s health information manager also added: “It's important that authorities worldwide make every effort to reduce the number of infection-related cancers, especially when many of these infections can be prevented."
“Vaccination against HPV, which causes cervical cancer, should go a long way towards reducing rates of this disease in the UK.
“But it's important that uptake of the vaccination remains high.
“At a global level, if the vaccine were available in more countries, many thousands more cases could be prevented.”
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Schneider Electric's intelligent patient room: need to know
Schneider Electric has launched a virtual showcase that features its new "intelligent patient room". What is it exactly?
Who: Schneider Electric is a multinational that develops energy and automation solutions for many different industries - including hospitality, education, defence, and healthcare. Founded in 1836, today it is a Fortune 500 company, and it currently provides technology to 40% of hospitals around the world, among them Penn Medicine, one of the top hospitals in the US where Schneider's EcoStruxure for Healthcare is deployed, an IoT solution.
What: Schneider has launched its Innovation Experience Live Healthcare Lab, an immersive experience that takes visitors through a demonstration of a hospital, including the doctor’s office, the operating room, and the intelligent patient room.
The room features a digital patient footwall - a touchscreen that creates a single reference point for patients, families and healthcare providers, by incorporating care information, entertainment and environmental controls all in one place. A separate digital patient door display has important information for healthcare staff.
All Schneider's equipment is low-voltage, and integrated so that the patient room, clinical needs and IT are all seamlessly connected, what Schneider calls a digital “system of systems.”
Why: Mike Sanders, Customer Projects & Services in Healthcare Innovation at Schneider Electric, explains: “The hospital of the future will need to put the patient experience at the forefront, using innovative and connected systems to provide superior in-hospital care experiences.”
“With the shift to remote work and business brought forth by the pandemic, we knew that we needed to invest in a new virtual experience that showcases our vision for a truly integrated healthcare experience. We believe our intelligent patient room is the solution that our healthcare partners and customers have been looking for, and we’re excited to offer a way for them to experience it no matter where they are in the world.”
Where: The virtual experience was modelled after the new innovations installed at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, the first real-world installation of Schneider Electric’s fully integrated intelligent patient room technology. It is currently being hosted at the company’s St. Louis Innovation Hub and Innovation Executive Briefing Center (IEBC) facility.