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WHO Warns Of a Cancer ‘Tidal Wave’

Update Date: Feb 04, 2014 09:44 AM EST

Entire population is facing a "tidal wave" of cancer, therefore restrictions on alcohol and sugar needs to be taken care of, said World Health Organization scientists. 

According to predictions, the number of cancer patients will reach 24 million by 2035. However, if predicted they could be halved too. 

The WHO noted there is a "real need" to focus on cancer now which could be achieved through tackling smoking, obesity and drinking. 

Statistically, 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year which is expected to increase to 19 million by 2025, 22 million by 2030 and 24 million by 2035. 

"The global cancer burden is increasing and quite markedly, due predominately to the aging of the populations and population growth," Dr Chris Wild, the director of the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer, told the BBC

"If we look at the cost of treatment of cancers, it is spiraling out of control, even for the high-income countries. Prevention is absolutely critical and it's been somewhat neglected."

In its World Cancer Report, WHO said major sources of preventable cancer included smoking, infections, alcohol, obesity, radiations, air pollution and delayed parenthood. 

The report noted that breast cancer was the most common form of cancer throughout. In large parts of Africa, cervical cancer also dominated. 

"The most shocking thing about this report's prediction that 14 million cancer cases a year will rise to 22 million globally in the next 20 years is that up to half of all cases could be prevented. People can cut their risk of cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices, but it's important to remember that the government and society are also responsible for creating an environment that supports healthy lifestyles," said Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control, according to BBC

"It's clear that if we don't act now to curb the number of people getting cancer, we will be at the heart of a global crisis in cancer care within the next two decades."

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