The head of the Cancer Research Center of Iran stated that every year there is about 85,000 new cases of cancer in the country and last year at least 41,000 people died of the disease. This figure does not include all of patients and the actual number is much higher. Cancer ranks as the third most likely cause of death in Iran.
State-run website Tabnak quotes Mohammad Esmail Akbari, head of the Cancer Research Center, on February 11 saying: “Cancer is the worst and at the same time the most expensive disease. Every year $6 billion is the direct cost of the treatment of cancer and the indirect expenses are much more than this figure and that the most part of this expense, or 80%, is paid by the patients themselves. Because of this and due to the death of at least 41,000 cancer patients every year, the number of the families who slip under the poverty line because of the cancer related expenses or at least have to face exorbitant expenses of treatment is at least twice the other diseases.”
A United Nations study on those successfully treated for cancer shows that surgery is 49% effective, radiotherapy 40%, and chemotherapy 11% in the treatment of these patients. These treatments cost patients more than they are able to pay.