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Cancer Cases Will Increase Drastically by 2030

Cancer Cases Will Increase Drastically by 2030

The global cancer burden may rise up to 75% by 2030, and may as well reach up to 90% in poor, developing countries, a new study, published in the Lancet Oncology and led by Dr. Freddie Bray of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, warns.

According to current statistics, cancer is more of a serious threat in rich, developed countries. In 2008, 40% of cancer patients lived in the most advanced countries (depending on classifications that take into account education levels, life expectancy, and GDP) although less than 15% of the world population lives in these countries.

The new study, however, suggests that lifestyle changes in poorer countries during the next decades will drastically boost cancer cases in these countries more than those in rich countries.

The poor, developing countries that are witnessing a gradual economic and social advance are expected to see a decline in the rates of some cancer types (such as cervical cancer and stomach cancer). However this decline will be accompanied with a rise in the rates of other types of cancer (such as, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer) which are associated with the western lifestyle.

Poor countries (in Africa and Asia mainly) are now experiencing a high incidence of cancers associated with infection, particularly cervical, liver, and stomach cancer. Richer, more developed countries experience an increase in the rates of cancers associated with smoking (lung cancer), obesity or diet (breast, prostate, colono-rectal cancer). And while the development in poor countries will result in a decline in rates of cancers associated with infection, these countries will experience a sharp rise in rates of cancers that are currently experienced in more developed countries.

“Cancer is already the leading cause of death in many high-income countries and is set to become a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the next decades in every region of the world; this study serves as an important reference point in drawing attention to the need for global action to reduce the increasing burden of cancer”, states Dr. Bray.

As for rich, developed countries, the highest rise in cancer cases by 2030 will be in prostate and breast cancer, while lung cancer cases will decline (especially in men, although lung cancer cases will increase in women) due to the effective smoke fighting policies.

The study used the database of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which includes estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in 2008 in 184 countries worldwide. The researchers describe how patterns of the most common types of cancer varied according to four levels of human development.  These findings were then used to project how the cancer burden is likely to change by 2030.

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Prepared by: Basel AlJunaidy

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