Can­cer to kill 5.5 mil­lion women High­est toll will be among women in poor coun­tries

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Can­cer will kill 5.5 mil­lion women— about the pop­u­la­tion of Den­mark—per year by 2030, a near 60-per­cent in­crease in less than two decades, a re­port said yes­ter­day. As the global pop­u­la­tion grows and ages, the high­est toll will be among women in poor and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries, it said, and much of it from can­cers which are largely pre­ventable. “Most of the deaths oc­cur in young- and mid­dle-aged adults,”, plac­ing a heavy bur­den on fam­i­lies and na­tional economies, said Sally Cowal, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of global health at the Amer­i­can Can­cer So­ci­ety, which com­piled the re­port with phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany Merck.

The re­view “high­lights the large ge­o­graphic in­equal­ity in avail­abil­ity of re­sources and pre­ven­tive mea­sures and treat­ment to com­bat the grow­ing bur­den of can­cer,” she said. Can­cer is al­ready killing one in seven women around the world, said the re­port-the sec­ond high­est cause of death af­ter car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

All four of the dead­li­est can­cers-breast, col­orec­tal, lung and cer­vi­cal can­cer-are mostly pre­ventable or can be de­tected early, when treat­ment is more suc­cess­ful. In poorer coun­tries, a much smaller pro­por­tion of can­cer cases are di­ag­nosed and treated than in rich ones, while a much big­ger group dies. The rel­a­tive bur­den is grow­ing for de­vel­op­ing coun­tries as peo­ple live longer due to bet­ter ba­sic health­care. Women in these coun­tries are also in­creas­ingly ex­posed to known can­cer risk fac­tors “as­so­ci­ated with rapid eco­nomic tran­si­tion,” said Cowal, “such as phys­i­cal in­ac­tiv­ity, un­healthy diet, obe­sity, and re­pro­duc­tive fac­tors” such as post­pon­ing moth­er­hood.

“Due to these changes, can­cers that were once com­mon only in high-in­come coun­tries are be­com­ing more preva­lent,” said the re­port en­ti­tled “The Global Bur­den of Can­cer in Women.” It was pre­sented yes­ter­day at the World Can­cer Congress in Paris. Ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Agency for Re­search on Can­cer, there were 6.7 mil­lion new can­cer cases and 3.5 mil­lion deaths among women world­wide in 2012. Of these, 56 per­cent of cases and 64 per­cent of deaths were in less de­vel­oped coun­tries. “These num­bers are ex­pected to in­crease to 9.9 mil­lion cases and 5.5 mil­lion deaths among fe­males an­nu­ally by 2030 as a re­sult of the growth and age­ing of the pop­u­la­tion,” said the new re­port.

The big­gest con­cen­tra­tion is in eastern Asia, with 1.7 mil­lion cases and a mil­lion deaths in 2012, mainly in China. The re­port said the high­est ra­tio of can­cer cases per pop­u­la­tion group are still re­ported in high-in­come coun­tries in Europe, the Amer­i­cas and Asia, but this was partly due to bet­ter ac­cess to screen­ing and de­tec­tion. Deaths, how­ever, were pro­por­tion­ally much higher in low- and mid­dle-in­come coun­tries with re­duced ac­cess to di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment. The coun­tries with the high­est death rate were Zim­babwe, Malawi, Kenya, Mon­go­lia and Pa­pua New Guinea. Breast and lung can­cer are the two most com­mon types in both rich and poor na­tions, with col­orec­tal can­cer the num­ber three killer in de­vel­oped coun­tries, and cer­vi­cal can­cer in less de­vel­oped ones.

Cer­vi­cal can­cer can be staved off by vac­ci­na­tion against the can­cer-caus­ing Hu­man pa­pil­lo­mavirus (HPV), and can be eas­ily de­tected through reg­u­lar Pa­pan­i­co­laou (pap) test screens. “Breast can­cer is the most com­monly di­ag­nosed can­cer among women in 140 coun­tries world­wide and cer­vi­cal can­cer is the most com­mon in 39 coun­tries, all of which are LMICs (low- and medium-in­come coun­tries),” said the re­port. It said the global eco­nomic bur­den of can­cer for both gen­ders was about $286 bil­lion (261 bil­lion eu­ros) in 2009, in­clud­ing costs for treat­ment and care, and loss of work­force pro­duc­tiv­ity. —AFP

LILLE: Photo shows a pa­tient un­der­go­ing a scan, at the Os­car Lam­bret Cen­ter in Lille, north­ern France, a re­gional med­i­cal unit spe­cial­ized in can­cer’s treat­ment. Can­cer will kill 5.5 mil­lion women—al­most the pop­u­la­tion of Den­mark—ev­ery year by 2030, a near 60-per­cent in­crease from 3.5 mil­lion in 2012, a re­port said yes­ter­day. —AFP

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