Science and Tech


Cancer Cases To Rise 70 Percent Worldwide: WHO Study

A new study by the WHO suggests cancer cases will increase to 22 million new cases a year by 2030, hitting developing countries the hardest.
Posted at 7:27 PM, Feb 04, 2014

The World Health Organization released a study this week suggesting a harsh future in terms of the number of cancer cases worldwide.

"They say within the next few years, it's going to go up to 14 million cases per year, but look at what happens by 2030. You're talking about 22 million cases — and that's new cases every year." (Via CNN

Along with that almost-70-percent increase in the number of cancer cases will come a jump in cancer deaths from 8.2 million to 13 million each year. 

Now, those are scary numbers, sure, but then again, the global population is not only growing, but also getting older — leading to much higher risks of cancer. 

But, still, that doesn't help fight what the report calls the "cancer burden," which is the massive financial cost of the disease. In 2010, the global cost of cancer was $1.16 trillion.

According to the report, the rising cancer rates — and therefore rising costs — will fall hard on all countries across the globe. But it will affect some countries differently than others. Bay News 9 explains: 

"​Wealthy countries will face skyrocketing treatment costs, and developing countries will be disproportionally hit." (Via Bay News 9)

As of now, the regions of Africa, Asia and Central and South America have 60 percent of the world's cancer cases, and what's worse: 70 percent of the world's cancer deaths. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Martin23230 / Ssolbergj / Heraldry / Luan)

The report stressed that for those developing countries, early detection and more affordable treatment options will be vital in bringing down those rates, according to Science World Report.

But as for the wealthier countries — where cancer cases tend to come more from poor lifestyle choices rather than lack of health care — a focus on prevention is necessary.

"It warned that the cost of treatments were spiraling out of control, and that cancer is not a problem we could cure our way out of." (Via BBC)

​Of course, that means addressing "affluent lifestyle" factors such as obesity, drinking or lack of exercise, but also, more specifically, smoking. Discovery reports, "It took aim at Big Tobacco, saying its sales drive was 'inextricably linked' to a likely surge in lung cancer." 

The study reports the most commonly diagnosed cancers around the world are lung cancer, breast cancer and large bowel cancers, while the most deadly cancers are from the lungs, liver and stomach.