Cancer on the Rise in Developing Countries:
FRIDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- To mark World Cancer Day, the
American Cancer Society issued a new report Friday warning that
changing lifestyles linked to economic growth in developing
countries are driving up the global incidence of several
In fact, the majority of the world's new cancer cases and deaths
(7.1 million and 4.8 million, respectively) are now occurring in
economically developing countries, the authors of the report noted.
And this, they say, reflects the growing adoption of unhealthy
behaviors -- such as smoking, sedentary lifestyles and poor diets
-- that typically accompany economic development.
The report, "Global Cancer Facts & Figures," highlights
lung, breast and colorectal cancers as being particularly
vulnerable to this dynamic.
Along those lines, about one-third of all cancer deaths that
occurred worldwide in 2008 (equal to roughly 7,300 deaths per day)
might have been avoided by focusing on preventable risk factors
such as smoking, drinking, infection patterns and dietary habits,
American Cancer Society chief medical officer Dr. Otis W. Brawley
suggested in an editorial accompanying the report.
"The worldwide application of existing cancer control knowledge according to the capacity and economic development of countries or regions could lead to the prevention of even more cancer deaths in the next two to three decades," he stated in a news release from the society.
"In order to achieve this, however, national and international public health agencies, governments, donors, and the private sectors must play major roles in the development and implementation of national or regional cancer control programs worldwide," he added.
The full American Cancer Society analysis is slated to be
published, along with Brawley's editorial, in the Feb. 4 edition of
CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
The authors of the report noted that as stark as global disease
figures already were in 2008 (12.7 million new cancer cases and 7.6
million cancer deaths), those numbers are expected to almost double
by 2030 as the world's population both grows and ages.
In economically developed nations, as of 2008, prostate, lung
and colorectal cancers are the most prevalent among men, while
breast, colorectal and lung cancers are the most common among
By contrast, in developing countries, the biggest risk for men
appears to be lung, stomach and liver cancers, with breast,
cervical and lung cancers the primary cancer threats for women.
The authors also noted that while just 10 percent of all cancers
in the economically developed world are a function of infection,
that figure rises to one-quarter of all cancers in the economically
For the more information on cancer causes and risks, visit the
U.S. National Cancer Institute.
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