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Cancer Cases Will Rise to 22 Million Per Year

Update Date: Feb 03, 2014 09:59 AM EST

Despite advances in science and technology, cancer cases will soar according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The agency reported that for the next two decades, the world could expect to have an estimated 22 million new cancer cases to deal with every single year. WHO stated that the cancer cases would be predominately caused by global aging and the spread of cancer in developing nations.

According to WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRAC), the number of cancer cases has steadily risen over the years. In 2008, the incidence of cancer throughout the world was 12.7 million. Within just four years, that number rose to an estimated 14.1 million new cancer cases per year. The IRAC reported then that the leading causes of death due to cancer were lung, liver and stomach tumors.

The IRAC predicted that within the next 20 years, the global incidence of cancer could skyrocket up to 22 to 25 million new cases per year. Within the next decades, the number of cancer cases will jump because there will be more people reaching their senior years. Based on several studies, aging has been tied to the development of cancers.

The researchers also stated that these cancer cases would hit low- and middle-income countries the hardest. In these countries, the types of cancers that will affect them the greatest are the ones caused by lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking and poor diet. These countries also have poor screening methods and accessibility to these screening tools for cancers caused by infections, such as cervical cancers. For more advanced and developed countries, the cancer cases would also affect their economies drastically.

"Despite exciting advances, the report shows that we cannot treat our way out if the cancer problem," said Dr. Christopher Wild, director of the IRAC and joint author of the report, reported by the Guardian. "More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally."

The IRAC stated that countries should focus on encouraging their residents to adopt an overall healthier lifestyle, which includes healthy eating and good physical activity.

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