Cancer cases will increase by 77% in 2050 compared to 2022, says WHO | World and Science

Cancer cases will increase by 77% in 2050 compared to 2022, says WHO | World and Science
Cancer cases will increase by 77% in 2050 compared to 2022, says WHO | World and Science
WHO research on cancer was carried out in 115 countriesFreepik

Published 02/01/2024 08:56 | Updated 02/01/2024 10:17

The number of new cases of cancer detected in 2050 will increase to almost 35 million, 77% more compared to 2022, warned this Thursday, 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) agency specializing in this disease.

“The rapid growth in the global burden of cancer reflects both aging and population growth, as well as changes in people’s exposure to risk factors,” said the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the WHO, citing the tobacco, alcohol, obesity and air pollution as “key factors in the increase in incidence”.

In 2022, there were around 20 million new cases of cancer and 9.7 million deaths. The estimated number of people who were alive in the five years following a cancer diagnosis was 53.5 million. According to the survey, around 1 in 5 people develop one of the variants of the disease during their lifetime and approximately 1 in 9 men and 1 in 12 women die.

The WHO also published results from surveys carried out in 115 countries, showing that the majority of countries do not adequately fund priority cancer and palliative care services as part of universal health coverage.

The survey shows that only 39% of participating countries covered the basics of cancer management as part of their funded basic health services for all citizens, “health benefit packages” (HBP). And only 28% additionally covered care for people needing palliative care, including pain relief in general, not just cancer-related.

Three main types of cancer in 2022: lung, breast and colorectal cancer

New estimates available from the IARC Global Cancer Observatory show that 10 types of cancer collectively accounted for about two-thirds of new cases and deaths globally in 2022. The data covers 185 countries and 36 variants of the disease.

Lung cancer was the most common worldwide, with 2.5 million new cases, representing 12.4% of total new cases. Female breast cancer came in second place (2.3 million cases, 11.6%), followed by colorectal (1.9 million cases, 9.6%), prostate (1.5 million cases, 7, 3%) and stomach (970 thousand cases, 4.9%).

Lung cancer was the leading cause of death from the disease (1.8 million deaths, 18.7% of total deaths), followed by colorectal (900,000 deaths, 9.3%), liver (760,000 deaths, 7. 8%), breast (670,000 deaths, 6.9%) and stomach (660,000 deaths, 6.8%). According to research, the resurgence of lung cancer as the most common is probably related to persistent tobacco consumption in Asia.

There were some differences in incidence and mortality in relation to the global total for both sexes. For women, the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the main cause of death was breast cancer, followed by lung and colorectal cancer. In men, lung injuries accounted for the highest number, while liver and colorectal injuries were the second and third.

Inequality of cases by HDI

Global estimates reveal striking inequalities in controlling cancer problems according to human development. According to the WHO, this is particularly true for breast cancer.

In countries with a very high HDI, 1 in 12 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime and 1 in 71 will die from this disease. In countries with a low HDI, although only one in 27 women will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime, one in 48 will die from it.

“Women in countries with the lowest HDI are 50% less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than women in countries with a high HDI, but they are at a much higher risk of dying from the disease due to late diagnosis and inadequate access to quality treatment”, explains Dr. Isabelle Soerjomataram, Deputy Chief of the IARC Cancer Surveillance Section.

The WHO survey also revealed significant global inequalities in oncology services. Lung cancer-related services would be 4 to 7 times more likely to be included in a high HDI country.

On average, radiation services were four times more likely to be covered in a high-income country than in a lower-income country. The biggest disparity for any service was stem cell transplantation, which was 12 times more likely to be included in one in “first world” nations than in the poorest regions.

Projected increase in cases in 2050

The WHO predicts more than 35 million new cases of cancer in 2050, a 77% increase from the estimated 20 million in 2022. The rapid growth in the global cancer burden reflects the aging and growth of the population, as well as the changes in people’s exposure to risk factors, several of which are associated with socioeconomic development.

Tobacco, alcohol and obesity are key factors behind the increase in cancer incidence, with air pollution still a key factor in environmental risk factors.

“The impact of this increase will not be felt uniformly in countries with different HDI levels. Those who have the fewest resources to manage the consequences of cancer will bear the brunt of the global cancer burden,” says Dr. Freddie Bray, Chief of the IARC Cancer Surveillance Section.

*With information from AFP


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Cancer cases increase compared World Science



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