Global cancer deaths rise to 9.6 million

Henrietta Strickland
September 13, 2018

"These new figures highlight that much remains to be done to address the alarming rise in the cancer burden globally and that prevention has a key role to play", said IARC director Christopher Wild. This is partly because of the huge population and also because of the prevalence of some particular type of cancer in that particular area, like liver cancer. That's because of the change in our age structure over the years.

There are dozens of types of cancer, and the agency found large differences between countries due to a host of socioeconomic factors.

Cancers of lung, female breast, and colorectum are the top three cancers in terms of incidence, and are ranked within the top five in terms of mortality.

In developed countries, prevention efforts are helping drive down the rates of various cancers, including those of the lung and cervix, while developing countries are increasingly affected by cancers typically linked to social and economic development, like colon cancer.

Effective prevention efforts may explain the observed decrease in incidence rates for some cancers, such as lung cancer and cervical cancer.

This is up from estimated 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million deaths reported in the agency's last assessment just six years ago. However, the new data show that most countries are still faced with an increase in the absolute number of cases being diagnosed and requiring treatment and care.

"Extraordinary diversity" Overall, the report estimates, almost half of all cases and most cancer deaths in the world this year will occur in Asia, partly because of the large numbers of people living in the continent and partly because some cancers with higher death rates are more common in this region.

Europe accounts for almost a quarter of global cancer cases and one-fifth of cancer deaths, although it has only nine per cent of the global population.

The Americas have 13.3 per cent of the global population and account for 21 per cent of cancer cases and 14.4 per cent of cancer deaths. Africa has approximately 7 percent of the world's cancer cases, but the continent's death rate tends to be higher, mainly because cancers aren't caught early or aren't easily treatable given the limited health resources there.

Krug said it was also critical that countries ensure access to fast diagnosis and treatment, noting: "For those who have cancer, cancer should not be a death sentence anymore".

"Tobacco control" And the authors say lung cancer is now the leading cause of cancer death in women in 28 countries.

They say because of this countries need to consider tailoring how they try to prevent and treat cancer.

The global agency estimates based on data from 185 countries that one in five men and one in six women will develop cancer during their lifetimes.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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