Cancer is predicted to rise worldwide mainly due to the increase of tobacco use and more “Westernized” habits in developing countries. By the year 2030 cancer is expected to more than double and in 2010 it is predicted to be the world’s largest killer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has completed a report that examines the impact this increase will have on the entire globe.
The report’s findings are disturbing and include an increase in cancer cases to 27 million and an increase in cancer deaths to 17 million. China, Russia and India are expected to have the highest rate of increase of cancer incidence and deaths and the overall global increase is expected to be 1% per year. The report also points to tobacco use and obesity as the leading causes of cancer in poorer countries in the years to come.
The United States has had a reduction in cancer incidence and death over the past ten years and this fact highlights the growing need for developing countries to begin the same process.
Peter Boyle, MD and IARC Director said, “Forty years ago, cancer was primarily a disease of high-resource, industrialized countries,” Boyle says. “That isn’t true anymore. When we think of low-resource countries, we think of communicable diseases as the big killers. But each year more people across the globe die of cancer than die of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined.”
Boyle also noted that just 15% of all cancer cases occurred in developing countries in 1970, but today more than half of the world’s cancer deaths occur there.
These horrific rates are expected to rise mainly due to the widespread increase in smoking. Boyle said the increase in smoking normally takes decades to affect rates of lung cancer and emphysema.
“The big tobacco companies started to move pretty strongly into these low- and medium-resource countries in the early 1990s at about the same time that we were working very aggressively to reduce tobacco use in Western countries,” he says
Both breast cancer and cervical cancer rates are also on the rise in poorer countries.
In addition to these findings other significant increases in cancer are occurring in various countries around the world.
Due to these overwhelming new discoveries, the American Cancer Society has reached out to the new Congress and the incoming Obama administration for help.