One in four Cypriots will suffer from cancer in their lifetime, while around 42 children under 10 are diagnosed with cancer yearly, state health services organisation Okypy said on Tuesday during a press conference to mark World Cancer Day and World Childhood Cancer Day.

Both days are observed in February to raise awareness about the disease and champion the work of medical professionals in its treatment and the work of researchers towards a cure.

Okypy presented and highlighted the work being done at the oncology wards of the Nicosia and Limassol general hospitals, and the childhood oncology ward at Makarios children’s hospital.

Using data from the Cyprus cancer archive, the Global Cancer Observatory (Globocan) estimated that by 2018, one in nine Cypriots up to the age of 75 had died of cancer, and that a quarter of the population will suffer from cancer in their lifetime.

As regards childhood cancers, Okypy said that every year Makarios hospital’s childhood oncology clinic treats over 1,500 children with cancer or linked disorders in varying stages.

Okypy is “standing by cancer patients and their families,” deputy CEO Kypros Stavrides said. “The battle against cancer is constant, and Okypy is present, offering specialised services at the oncology wards of its hospitals”.

Assistant director of Nicosia hospital’s oncology ward Dr Georgios Ioannides said that according to numbers published by the European Cancer Information System (ECIS) 4,989 new cancer cases were diagnosed in Cyprus in 2020, of which 2,739 were men and 2,250 women.

In addition, 2,430 patients passed away from cancer during the same year, of whom 1,436 were men and 994 women.

The same data showed that the three most common types of cancer affecting Cypriot men are prostate cancer (30 per cent), lung (16 per cent) and colon (14 per cent).

They account for 13, 24, and 11 per cent of deaths respectively.

For women, these are breast cancer (34 per cent), thyroid (10 per cent) and colon (8 per cent).

Breast cancer accounts for 20 per cent of deaths and the other two for 11 per cent each.