News / Health

Global Cancer Rates Expected to Soar by 2030

Jessica Berman
The number of cancer cases is predicted to surge by 78 percent in middle income countries such as South Africa and India, and spike 93 percent in the developing world by the year 2030. Experts say an aggressive global strategy is needed.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC, in Lyon, France, the incidence of all cancer cases will rise from 12.7 million new cases in 2008 to 22.2 million by 2030. The estimates are based on an analysis of social and economic trends in 184 countries compiled by the IARC.

The organization looked at the incidence of nine of the most commonly diagnosed cancers, including cancers of the cervix, liver, breast, prostate, lung and colon.  It concluded that reductions in cancers caused by infections in middle-income countries, such as those of the cervix and stomach, are likely to be rapidly off-set by a rise in breast, colon and prostate, as countries become more Westernized.  

The IARC reported its projections in an article published in The Lancet Oncology.

Ted Trimble is director of the Center for Global Health at the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Trimble says the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer study were not surprising given the introduction of fatty foods in middle income countries.

“We had seen tidings of this on the horizon because we know that as the developing world was adopting a Western lifestyle that we were going to be seeing an increase in the same cancers that afflict the developed world,” Trimble said.

In countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Trimble says it’s important to roll-out vaccinations to prevent cancers linked to infections, including cervical cancer, caused by human papilloma virus, and the virus that causes liver cancer.

“For 30 years now, we’ve had (a) good vaccination for hepatitis B which is responsible for a lot of cases of liver cancer around the world.  That vaccine is very cheap.  It’s about twenty-five to fifty cents a dose,” Trimble said.

Trimble also says global public health experts need to get the word out about lifestyle factors related to cancer.  For example, in China, he says about 80 percent of men smoke cigarettes, a strong risk factor for lung cancer.  

Ultimately, Trimble says the key is working with health organizations, non-governmental groups and countries themselves to improve access to early diagnosis and treatment.

“Many of these cancers can be treated effectively with some combination of surgery and radiation therapy and chemotherapy. But if you don’t have the trained doctors in place and the trained nurses in place and the right facilities in place, then people cannot get treated and cannot have potentially curative treatment for their cancers,” Trimble said.  

This week, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which has attracted thousands of cancer experts from around the world, is meeting in Chicago.
The NCI’s Ted Trimble says he plans to meet with cancer specialists to discuss ways increase access to cancer treatment around the world.

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Rodman Goode from: Dallas
June 04, 2012 8:41 AM
The news out of Chicago this weekend is encouraging for those with cancer and for those who support them.

by: Dan from: USA
June 02, 2012 9:31 PM
Scary problem is that Medicare last year allowed Big Pharma to change the rules, now most new cancer drugs are on Tier 4 - meaning 35% co-pays on drugs that cost anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs