According to a recently released report by the World Health Organisation, the world could possibly see a rise in cancer cases across the world. The WHO report states that the number of cancer cases could rise by 60 per cent. The report also added that some low to middle-income countries could potentially see a rise of up to 81 per cent in cancer cases.
The WHO recently released its 2020 World Cancer Report, according to which 9.6 million people died of cancer in 2018. The reports also pointed out that more people were dying of cancer in poorer countries. According to the report, the reason for this inequality is a difference in the proportion of people exposed to cancer risk factors. The report also stated that low-income countries are more likely to have higher rates of cancers that are caused by infections like cervical cancer from HPV.
According to statistics released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the number of smokers in high-income states like the United States is decreasing but the data does not show a similar decline in low-income countries. Lung cancer remains one of the leading causes of cancer deaths.
According to Sally Cowal, who is the senior vice president for global cancer control at the American Cancer Society and reviewer of the report, tobacco companies are attempting to market their products in developing and under-developed countries in order to compensate for fewer consumers in developed nations like the US.
According to the WHO report, another factor causing the imbalance between developed and under-developed nations is the difference in resources available to the two groups of countries. The report states that poorer nations spend their already limited medical resources in combating infectious diseases instead of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
As per the report, irrespective of a person's income level, an early diagnosis is 'the most effective public health measure in cancer'. The report further states that 7 million lives could be saved till 2030 if the government of low-income countries invested $3 dollars per person towards cancer research, detection and prevention.
The report also mentioned other ways of combating cancer, such as the elimination of preventable causes of cancer globally.
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