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Updated February 3rd, 2024 at 12:27 IST

Cancer Cases Around the World to Jump 77% by 2050, WHO Raises Alarm

In a grim warning, experts from the World Health Organisation warned that cancer diagnoses around the world will reach a whopping 35 million by 2050.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
World Health Organisation issues a stern warning
World Health Organisation issues a stern warning | Image:AP / File Photo
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In a grim warning, experts from the World Health Organisation warned that cancer diagnoses around the world will reach a whopping 35 million by 2050. According to the data released by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, the researchers warned that there will be a 77% rise in cancer cases from the 20 million cases that were diagnosed in 2022. The data which was released on Friday covered 185 countries and around 36 forms of the disease. The researchers also found that lung cancer was the most common form of the disease diagnosed in 2022. 

As per the report, Lunch cancer was responsible for 2.5 million cases, 12.4% of the total and was followed by female breast, colorectal, prostate and stomach cancers. “Over 35 million new cancer cases are predicted in 2050, a 77% increase from the estimated 20 million cases in 2022. The rapidly growing global cancer burden reflects both population ageing and growth, as well as changes to people’s exposure to risk factors, several of which are associated with socioeconomic development,” the international agency said in a press release. The body stated that Tobacco, alcohol and obesity were the key factors behind the increasing diagnosis of cancer. The researchers also mentioned that air pollution is also a key driver when it comes to environmental risk factors.

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142% increase in less developed countries

The WHO stated that countries with high HDI are expected to increase the greatest increase with 4.8 million new cases predicted in 2050. However, the body stated that there will be a whopping 142% rise in cancer cases among countries with low HDI. “The impact of this increase will not be felt evenly across countries of different HDI levels. Those who have the fewest resources to manage their cancer burdens will bear the brunt of the global cancer burden,” says Dr Freddie Bray, Head of the Cancer Surveillance Branch at IARC. “Despite the progress that has been made in the early detection of cancers and the treatment and care of cancer patients–significant disparities in cancer treatment outcomes exist not only between high and low-income regions of the world, but also within countries. Where someone lives should not determine whether they live. Tools exist to enable governments to prioritise cancer care, and to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, quality services. This is not just a resource issue but a matter of political will,” Dr Cary Adams, head of UICC - Union for International Cancer Control, furthered. 

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Published February 3rd, 2024 at 12:27 IST

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