Monday, 20 May 2019

Alcohol, obesity and tobacco lead 70 per cent surge in global cancer cases over next 20 years

world cancer reportCancer cases worldwide will climb by 70 per cent over the next two decades, from 14m in 2012 to 25m new cases a year and we won’t be able to meet the spiralling cost of treatment, according to the latest World Cancer Report published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“It is time to take up the challenges posed by the markedly increasing number of cancer cases globally. The particularly heavy burden projected to fall on low- and middle-income countries makes it implausible to treat our way out of cancer; even the highest-income countries will struggle to cope with the spiralling costs of treatment and care,” said Dr Christopher Wild, director if the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and joint author of the report.
Many developing countries find themselves in the grip of cancers from two vastly different worlds. Those associated with the world of poverty, including infection related cancers, and those associated with the world of plenty, with increasing use of tobacco, consumption of alcohol and highly processed foods, and lack of physical activity, the report says.
Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed among men (16.7% of cases) and the biggest killer (23.6% of deaths). Breast cancer is the most common diagnosis in women (25.2%) and caused 14.7 per cent of deaths and only just exceeds lung cancer deaths in women (13.8%). Bowel, prostate and stomach cancer are the other most common diagnoses.
“Despite exciting advances, the report shows that we cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem,” said Dr Wild.
“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.”
Alcohol, obesity and physical inactivity are all preventable causes of cancer along with tobacco, the report says. Its authors call for discussion on the best ways forward, which could include taxes on sweet calorific drinks.
Despite public concern about mobile phone use, the report says: “the most significant causes of all head and neck cancers are tobacco use and alcohol consumption. These exposures account for the development of approximately 80% of such cancers globally.”
Although, brain cancer remains a rare but devastating disease for most suffers.
“Brain tumours account for less than 2% of the overall human cancer burden,” the report says. However, for the most common type of brain cancer – glioma – due to marked resistance to radiation and chemotherapy the prognosis is still poor.
“No consistent association has been found between use of mobile (cell) phones and brain tumours,” the report says.


Published 9/04/2014

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