News / Health

WHO: Cancer on the Rise Worldwide

A breast cancer screening is seen in this file photo.A breast cancer screening is seen in this file photo.
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A breast cancer screening is seen in this file photo.
A breast cancer screening is seen in this file photo.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) says the number of cancer cases is on the rise, with 14.1 million new cases in 2012 as compared with 12.7 million in 2008. The numbers are from recent estimates for 28 types of cancer in 184 countries.

Furthermore, there were 8.2 million cancer deaths in 2012, and 7.6 million in 2008.

The most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide were those of the lung (1.8 million, 13 percent of the total), breast (1.7 million, 11.9 percent), and colorectal (1.4 million, 9.7 percent). The most common causes of cancer death were cancers of the lung (1.6 million, 19.4 percent of the total), liver (0.8 million, 9.1 percent), and stomach (0.7 million, 8.8 percent).

The WHO’s  International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said cancer rates are likely to continue rising with a projected 19.3 million new cancer cases per year by 2025, due to growth and aging of the global  population.

The WHO also states that more than half of all cancers (56.8 percent) and cancer deaths (64.9 percent) in 2012 occurred in less developed regions of the world, and these proportions will increase further by 2025.

Breast cancer continues to soar.

According to the WHO, in 2012, 1.7 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer, and there were 6.3 million women alive who had been diagnosed with the disease in the previous five years.

Since the 2008 estimates, breast cancer incidence increased by more than 20 percent, while mortality has increased by 14 percent. Breast cancer is also the most common cause of cancer death among women and the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in 140 of 184 countries worldwide. It now represents one in four of all cancers in women.

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