Middle-income and poor countries account for more than 60 per cent of the world’s total cancer cases and 70 per cent cancer deaths
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said cancer cases are increasing at an alarming pace and emphasised the need for urgent implementation of efficient strategies to control the disease.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialised cancer agency of WHO, released the World Cancer Report on February 3; it is based on latest statistics on trends in cancer incidence and mortality worldwide. “Effective prevention measures are urgently needed to prevent cancer crisis,” the report says.
Treatment alone cannot win the global battle against cancer, the report says emphatically. “Despite exciting advances, we cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem,” says director of IARC, Christopher Wild, says, “More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally,” he adds.
Developing countries disproportionately affected
The report says that the worldwide burden of cancer rose to an estimated 14 million new cases per year in 2012 and is expected to rise to 22 million annually within the next two decades.
Over the same period, cancer deaths are predicted to rise from an estimated 8.2 million annually to 13 million a year.
In 2012, globally, the most common cancers diagnosed were those of the lung (1.8 million cases, 13.0 per cent of the total), breast (1.7 million, 11.9 per cent of total) and large bowel (1.4 million, 9.7 per cent).
According to the report, the most common causes of cancer deaths were lung cancer (1.6 million, 19.4 per cent of the total), liver (0.8 million, 9.1 per cent of total), and stomach (0.7 million, 8.8 per cent of total).
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