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Cancer Cases To Increase 77% by 2050: WHO

Cancer Cases To Increase 77% by 2050: WHO

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The World Health Organization (WHO) anticipates a significant surge in new cancer cases, projecting over 35 million occurrences by 2050. This alarming prediction marks a 77% increase from the estimated 20 million cases reported in 2022. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer unveiled these statistics ahead of World Cancer Day, observed on February 4.

Cancer Cases Study By WHO

In a survey spanning 115 countries, the WHO revealed a concerning trend: the majority of nations are not allocating sufficient resources to cancer care and treatment. Dr. Andre IIbawi, the WHO’s technical lead on cancer, emphasized the urgency to address this issue. He urged for increased investments in cancer prevention and control, emphasizing that now is not the time to turn away but to double down on efforts.

The global impact of cancer is evident in the 2022 statistics, which reported nearly 10 million deaths worldwide. Shockingly, about 1 in 5 people are expected to develop cancer in their lifetime, with approximately 1 in 9 men and 1 in 12 women succumbing to the disease.

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Several factors contribute to the anticipated rise in global cancer cases, as outlined by the WHO:

  • Population aging and growth
  • Changes in exposure to risk factors, with air pollution emerging as a key environmental risk
  • Widespread tobacco and alcohol use
  • Increasing rates of obesity

Tobacco use remains a significant contributor to the most commonly occurring cancer globally – lung cancer. The WHO highlights the high rates of tobacco use in Asian countries as a major contributor to mortality.

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Beyond lung cancer, female breast cancer ranks as the second most common, followed by colorectal, prostate, and stomach cancers. Dr. Tim Tiutan, an oncology hospitalist, emphasized the global impact of major risk factors such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and obesity. In Western countries, additional risk factors include the consumption of ultra-processed foods and processed meats, contributing to higher rates of colorectal cancer.

A critical concern highlighted by the study is the existing disparities in access to cancer care. Only 39% of the surveyed countries cover basics in cancer management in their health benefits packages, and a mere 28% provide coverage for palliative medicine services. This discrepancy in access to high-quality care contributes to higher mortality rates and lower detection rates in less developed countries.

Personal stories, like that of Alexia Da Silva, who battled stage 2 breast cancer, underscore the emotional and physical toll of the disease. Da Silva, having lost family members to cancer, shared her journey to inspire hope and solidarity. Her resilience through surgeries and treatments reflects the strength that binds individuals in their shared fight against cancer. As the global community grapples with the escalating cancer crisis, stories like Da Silva’s serve as a reminder of the collective strength needed to confront and overcome this formidable challenge.

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