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Rich Countries Report Less Instances of Cancer, While the Number Grows in Poorer Ones

Update Date: Dec 18, 2015 06:34 PM EST
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Many high income countries have been able to combat the instances of cancer due to better screening facilities and lifestyle changes. However, the low and middle-income countries are witnessing a surge in those rates as they adopt the Western lifestyle. A total of 14.1 million new cases and 8.2 million deaths were reported globally in 2012. These numbers are expected to grow higher as the population increases, become old and incorporate habits that can increase their risk of cancer, report researchers. "It's not surprising that the highest rates of cancer are still in high-income countries," said study author Lindsey Torre, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society. "The highest cancer rates are for colon, lung and breast cancer, which are related to lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity," she said, as reported by Health Day.

"But what's interesting is that in low- and middle-income countries, we are starting to see rising rates of the same cancers that have been common in high-income countries because of the uptake of Western lifestyles, like smoking and excess body weight," Torre said. "People are less active. There is less manual labor and more use of transport. They have access to perhaps more appealing but less healthy foods," said All India Roundup. Over the years, the less developed countries have started accounting for more than 57% of the cases and 65% of cancer deaths globally. As countries become richer, people smoke more, indulge in poor eating habits and become less physically active, thus increasing the chances of certain cancers that are associated with this lifestyle. According to Torre, these countries include South America, Asia and Africa.

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