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The World Health Organization says that cancer cases will rise by 77% in 2050 compared to 2022 World and Science

The World Health Organization says that cancer cases will rise by 77% in 2050 compared to 2022 World and Science

WHO cancer research has been conducted in 115 countriesFreebec

Published 01/02/2024 08:56 | Updated 01/02/2024 at 10:17

The World Health Organization, which specializes in this disease, warned on Thursday, 1 that the number of new cancer cases discovered in 2050 will rise to nearly 35 million, that is, 77% more than in 2022.

“The rapid growth in the global burden of cancer reflects both aging and population growth, as well as changes in people's exposure to risk factors,” the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, said, citing tobacco. Alcohol, obesity and air pollution are considered “major factors in increasing incidences.”

In 2022, there were about 20 million new cases of cancer and 9.7 million deaths. The estimated number of people who survived the five years following a cancer diagnosis was 53.5 million. According to the survey, about 1 in 5 people will be infected with one of the disease variants during their lifetime, and about 1 in 9 men and 1 in 12 women will die.

The World Health Organization also published the results of surveys conducted in 115 countries, which showed that the majority of countries do not adequately fund priority cancer and palliative care services as part of universal health coverage.

Research shows that only 39% of participating countries covered the basics of cancer management as part of their basic health services funded for all citizens, “Health Benefits Packages” (HBP). Only 28% covered additional care for people who needed palliative care, including pain relief in general, not just cancer-related.

Three major types of cancer in 2022: lung, breast, and colorectal

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New estimates available from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Global Cancer Observatory show that 10 types of cancer will together account for about two-thirds of new cases and deaths globally in 2022. The data covers 185 countries and 36 different types of the disease.

Lung cancer was the most common worldwide, with the number of new cases reaching 2.5 million, representing 12.4% of the total new cases. Breast cancer in women came in second place (2.3 million cases, 11.6%), followed by cancer of the colon and rectum (1.9 million cases, 9.6%), prostate (1.5 million cases, 7.3%) and stomach (970 thousand cases, 4.9%).

Lung cancer was the leading cause of death from the disease (1.8 million deaths, 18.7% of total deaths), followed by colorectal cancer (900,000 deaths, 9.3%), liver (760,000 deaths, 7.8%), and breast (670,000 deaths, 7.8%). 6.9%) and stomach (660,000 deaths, 6.8%). According to research, the resurgence of lung cancer as the most common may be linked to continued tobacco consumption in Asia.

There were some differences in infection and death rates for the global total for both sexes. For women, breast cancer was the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of death, followed by lung cancer and colorectal cancer. In men, lung injuries constituted the largest number, while liver, colon and rectal injuries came in second and third place.

Inequality in cases according to the Human Development Index

Global estimates reveal stark disparities in combating cancer problems according to human development. According to the World Health Organization, this is especially true for breast cancer.

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In countries with a very high Human Development Index, one in 12 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, and one in 71 will die from the disease. In countries with a low Human Development Index, although only one in 27 women will be diagnosed with the disease in her lifetime, one in 48 will die from it.

“Women in countries with the lowest Human Development Index are 50% less likely to develop breast cancer than women in countries with the highest Human Development Index, but they are at greater risk of dying from the disease due to late diagnosis and inadequate access to quality treatment,” explains Dr. Isabelle Surjumataram, Deputy Head of the Cancer Surveillance Division at the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The WHO survey also revealed significant global disparities in oncology services. Lung cancer-related services are 4 to 7 times more likely to be included in countries with a high Human Development Index.

On average, coverage of radiological services in high-income countries was four times greater than in low-income countries. The largest disparity in any service was stem cell transplantation, which was 12 times more likely to be included in one of these services in “first world” countries than in the poorest regions.

Projected increase in cases in 2050

The World Health Organization expects more than 35 million new cases of cancer in 2050, an increase of 77% from the estimated 20 million cases in 2022. The rapid growth in the global cancer burden reflects the aging and growth of populations, as well as changes in people's lives. . Exposure to risk factors, many of which are linked to social and economic development.

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Tobacco, alcohol and obesity are major factors behind the increase in cancer cases, and air pollution remains a major factor in environmental risk factors.

“The impact of this increase will not be felt uniformly across countries with different HDI levels. Those with the least resources to manage the consequences of cancer will bear the brunt of the global cancer burden,” says Dr Freddy Bray, Head of the Cancer Surveillance Division at the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

*With information from Agence France-Presse