Health experts on Oct. 16 called on the community to take action against cancer at the launch for a communication programme for the prevention of the disease in women.

Organised by the Hanoi-based Cancer Hospital (K-hospital), the World Health Organisation and the Canadian Health Bridge Organisation, the event aims to strengthen community awareness of cancer prevention, especially among groups of women with a high risk of developing breast and cervical cancers.

"Most cancers can be prevented and cured. A joining together by the whole community could minimise cancer's burden on society," said the K Hospital Director, Bui Dieu.

The communication programme should raise community awareness and develop good habits for cancer prevention, he said. This information should encourage people to seek medical attention for cancer detection and treatment at the first sign of a problem.

Ministry of Health recent statistics show that Vietnam has around 150,000 new cancer cases annually. About half of the patients are women and 75,000 of the total die from the disease.

The programme also aims at teaching woman simple practices to detect cancer and increase the number of women seeking regular health examinations.

At the event, doctors offered cancer consultations to women and a group of 150 youngsters rode bicycles around the main streets of Hanoi to advertise the programme.

World Health Organisation statistics in 2008 showed that globally, there were more than 12.6 million new cancer cases yearly, including more than 6 million cases in women. The disease killed more than 7.5 million people, about half of them women./.