Update: Cancer – it’s a growth industry
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The incidence of cancer worldwide is growing at an alarming pace. A new report by the World Health Organization finds that, as USA Today reports, new cancer cases will skyrocket globally from an estimated 14 million in 2012 to 22 million new cases a year within the next two decades, the report says. During that same period, cancer deaths are predicted to rise from an estimated 8.2 million annually to 13 million a year. The total annual cost globally of cancer was estimated to reach approximately $1.16 trillion in 2010, which is damaging the economies of even the richest countries and is way beyond the reach of developing countries.
The most common cancers diagnosed globally in 2012 were those of the lung (1.8 million cases, 13% of the total), breast (1.7 million, 11.9%), and large bowel (1.4 million, 9.7%), the group says. The most common causes of cancer death were cancers of the lung (1.6 million, 19.4% of the total), liver (0.8 million, 9.1%), and stomach (0.7 million, 8.8%).
“These new figures and projections send a strong signal that immediate action is needed to confront this human disaster, which touches every community worldwide, without exception.”
The report “actually puts onto paper what a lot of us have been saying for some time,” says Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. “The burden of cancer internationally has doubled over the last 20 years, and it will double over the next 20 years. These facts support that we need to be serious about cancer prevention activities.”
As a consequence of growing and aging populations, developing countries are disproportionately affected by the increasing numbers of cancers, the report says.
More than 60% of the world’s total cases occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America, and these regions account for about 70% of the world’s cancer deaths, a situation that is made worse by the lack of early detection and access to treatment, it says.
The total annual cost globally of cancer was estimated to reach approximately $1.16 trillion in 2010, which is damaging the economies of even the richest countries and is way beyond the reach of developing countries, the report says.