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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

WHO: Cancer cases tipped to rise 57% in 20 years in imminent 'human disaster'

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By Tim Hume, CNN
February 4, 2014 -- Updated 1053 GMT (1853 HKT)
The WHO predicts an
The WHO predicts an "alarming rise" in cancer rates worldwide in coming years.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New cases of cancer are tipped to rise 57% worldwide in 20 years, says the WHO
  • World Cancer Report says developing countries will be disproportionately hit
  • Even rich countries will struggle to deal with the spiraling costs of treatment
  • WHO: With many cancers preventable, a renewed focus on prevention is essential
(CNN) -- Cancer cases are expected to surge 57% worldwide in the next 20 years, an imminent "human disaster" that will require a renewed focus on prevention to combat, according to the World Health Organization.
The World Cancer Report, produced by the WHO's specialized cancer agency, predicts new cancer cases will rise from an estimated 14 million in 2012 to 22 million annually within two decades. Over the same period, cancer deaths are tipped to rise from 8.2 million a year to 13 million annually.
The rising incidence of cancer, brought about by growing, aging populations worldwide, will require a heavier focus on preventive public health policies, said Christopher Wild, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
"We cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem," he said. "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."
The report notes that the rocketing cost of responding to the "cancer burden" -- in 2010, the economic cost of the disease worldwide was estimated at $1.16 trillion -- is hurting the economies of rich countries and beyond the means of poor ones.
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The report's authors suggested governments take similar legislative approaches to those they had taken against tobacco in attempting to reduce consumption of alcohol and sugary drinks, and in limiting exposure to occupational and environmental carcinogens, including air pollution.
According to the report, the next two most common diagnoses were for breast (1.7 million, 11.9%) and large bowel cancer (1.4 million, 9.7%). Liver (800,000 or 9.1%) and stomach cancer (700,000 or 8.8%) were responsible for the most deaths after lung cancer.
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The report said the growing cancer burden would disproportionately hit developing countries -- which had the least resources to deal with the problem -- due to their populations growing, living longer and becoming increasingly susceptible to cancers associated with industrialized lifestyles.
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Governments needed to appreciate that screening and early detection programs were "an investment rather than a cost," said Bernard Stewart, co-editor of the report -- and low-tech approaches had proven successful in some developing countries.

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FULL ARTICLE:
http://www.local10.com/thats-life/health/WHO-Cancer-cases-to-soar-57-in-20-years/-/1717022/24278044/-/11dlivtz/-/index.html

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