WHO unveils startling cancer prediction – Brace for 77% surge in cases worldwide by 2050!

Visual Representation for cancer | Credits: Shutterstock

A distressing report related to cancer cases has been shared by the World Health Organisation (WHO); accordingly, by the year 2050, the world will witness a hike of 77 percent. The report highlighted that the cases will reach more than 35 million in 2050, which was 20 million in 2022.

The survey focused on 115 countries across the world, out of which a few countries were not spending enough on cancer care and treatment. The report was released ahead of World Cancer Day – which was observed on February 4.

WHO issued a report projecting a 77% increase in global cancer cases

The detailed study was conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer – a dedicated cancer agency of the WHO, according to CBS News.

The concern was addressed by the technical head of cancer of the WHO – Dr Andre Ilbawi, who outlined, “This is not the time to turn away. It’s the time to double down and make those investments in cancer prevention and control.”

What do official stats tell about cancer situations worldwide?

According to the data shared by the World Health Organisation, around 10 million people succumbed to cancer in 2022; out of the total, one in nine men and one in 12 women died of cancer. In addition to this, the cancer is developed among one in five people.

The World Health Organisation furthermore listed the major possible reasons behind the predicted increase in cancer numbers. The factors were:

  1. Tobacco and alcohol use
  2. Obesity
  3. Population aging and growth
  4. Changes to people’s exposure to risk factors, with air pollution a key driver of environmental risk factors

Tobacco – the largest contributor to lung cancer 

Out of the four listed contributors, tobacco is believed to be the largest contributor to lung cancer – which is the most common type of cancer, as per IARC.

Oncology hospitalist – Dr Tim Tiutan, during the interaction with CBS News, said, “One of the main issues is tobacco use. (In) Asian countries, there’s a high rate of tobacco use, which is contributing, of course, to mortality.”

After lung cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer, and the third, fourth, and fifth most common cancers are colorectal, prostate, and stomach, respectively.

In this regard, Dr Tiutan mentioned, “When we think about the major risk factors: tobacco use, alcohol, and obesity — that’s worldwide,” adding, “But especially in Western countries, ultra-processed foods, processed meats — those are the… risk factors that are contributing to higher cancer rates — colorectal cancer, especially.”

What disparities are present in the accessibility of cancer care?

The study further revealed that just 39 percent of the countries were open to offering coverage for the basics of cancer management, whereas only 28 percent of the nations provided palliative medicine services in the coverage, as per CBS News.

Dr Tiutan stated, “What we’re finding is that people who live in less developed countries are not only dying more from cancer, but they’re also getting less adequate access to symptom management.” She further outlined that the detection level is also low in such countries.

Further, the expert mentioned, “They are finding fewer new cases being diagnosed and higher mortality rates in these countries as well… It comes down to access to high-quality care,” according to quoted by CBS News.

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