Cancer cases set to surge, claim experts
Study predicts 75% rise
UNHEALTHY Western ways of living are likely to fuel a massive surge in cancer rates around the world, experts have claimed.
A study predicts a more than 75% increase in the global cancer burden by 2030.
In the poorest countries, the rise could be in excess of 90%.
The number of people worldwide diagnosed with cancer each year is forecast to swell from 12.7 million in 2008 to 22.2 million within 20 years.
The trend is blamed on the spread of Western lifestyles to developing countries, where more people are now eating convenience food, becoming obese and smoking.
Scientists based their findings on a snapshot of cancer statistics collected from 184 countries in 2008.
The incidence and death rate estimates were recorded on the Globocan database compiled by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). They showed how cancer patterns varied according to four levels of human development, measured on a Human Development Index (HDI) scale.
Poor countries with a low HDI currently experience high rates of infection-linked cancers, such as cervical, stomach and liver cancers.
But rich countries with a high HDI, such as the UK, US and Australia, are more afflicted by cancers associated with smoking, obesity, diet and reproductive risk factors.
Almost 40% of global cases of cancer in 2008 occurred in high HDI countries, even though these regions contained just 15% of the world’s population.