Experts predict more than a 75 per cent increase in global cancer by the year 2030, as unhealthy Western ways of living spread to developing countries.
In 2008, almost 40 per cent of global cases of cancer occurred in highly developed counties, even though these regions contained just 15 per cent of the world’s population.
But researchers now estimate that cancer cases in the poorest countries could rise 90 per cent by 2030, as people start eating convenience food, put on weight and start smoking.
The study was based on findings of a snapshot of cancer statistics collected from 184 countries in 2008 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It showed how cancer patterns varied according to four levels of human development, measured on a Human Development Index (HDI) scale.
The information was used to project how the cancer burden was likely to change in 2030, taking into account forecasts of population size, ageing and national development.
Researchers predict a 75 per cent increase in global cancer from 12.7 million in 2008 to 22.2 million in the next 20 years.
Currently, poor countries with a low HDI experience high rates of infection linked cancers such as cervical, stomach and liver cancers. Rich countries with a high RDI are more likely to be affected by cancers associated with poor lifestyle choices, like breast, bowel and prostate.
Writing in the journal The Lancet Oncology, experts predict that the incidence of infection linked cancers is likely to fall, and cancers associated with healthy living are likely to rise. The trend is blamed on the spread of Western lifestyles to developing countries.
Study leader Dr Freddie Bray, from the IARC in Lyon, France, said: "Cancer is already the leading cause of death in many high-income countries and is set to become a major cause of morbidity (illness) and mortality in the next decades in every nation of the world.
"This study serves as an important reference point in drawing attention to the need for global action to reduce the increasing burden of cancer."
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© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012