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WHO says number of new cancer cases to rise by 70 percent

By Sravanth Verma     Feb 4, 2015 in Health
On the occasion of World Cancer Day on February 4, the World Health Organization has released data that shows that the number of new cancer cases is expected to rise by 70 percent in the next 20 years.
There were 14 million new cancer cases and 8 million deaths due to cancer in 2012 alone, with 60 percent of fatalities occurring in Africa, Asia, Central and South America. “Tobacco use - smoking and chewing - is the single most important factor for cancer, causing 22 percent of the global 8.2 million deaths due to cancer, and 71 percent of the global lung cancer deaths,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the WHO regional director of Southeast Asia. “Regular cancer screening and identifying the early signs and symptoms are key to early detection of cancer,” she added.
“Around one third of cancer deaths are due to the five leading behavioural and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use. Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer causing around 20 per cent of global cancer deaths and around 70 per cent of global lung cancer deaths,” the WHO said in a statement.
The greatest number of deaths resulted from lung cancer, which accounted for 1.59 million deaths in 2012. Next was liver cancer which took 745,000 lives, stomach cancer which accounted for 723,000 deaths, colorectal cancer which killed 694,000, breast cancer which cost 521,000 women their lives, and oesophageal cancer which lead to 400,000 deaths.
Today's generations are also more prone to cancer risk. For example, in the UK, those who were born in 1930 had a lifetime cancer risk of just over 33 percent, but that risk has increased to 50 percent for those born in 1960.
One-third of cancer deaths are attributed to high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, and tobacco and alcohol use. Margaret Cuomo, Board member of Lesscancer and author of "A World Without Cancer", said in a blogpost, "There is so much we can do right now to reduce our cancer risk. Over 50 percent of all cancer is preventable by applying what we know right now. Attention to diet, exercise, avoiding or at least limiting alcohol, ending smoking, protecting our skin from the sun and avoiding stress are important to live healthier lives, with lower cancer risk."
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