Cancer will be the ‘single biggest barrier to increasing our life expectancy,’ report says

Image credit: Shutterstock
Image credit: Shutterstock

The number of people around the world who have cancer is “rapidly growing,” with 18.1 million new cases and 9.6 million deaths in 2018 alone, researchers estimate in a new report.

By the end of the century, cancer will be the No. 1 killer globally and the single biggest barrier to increasing our life expectancy, according to the report, released [September 12] by the World’s Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The number of cancer cases is increasing for a number of reasons, the report says: The global population is growing, and more people means more cancer. The population is also aging, and cancer risks grow as you age.

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The good news is that prevention efforts seem to pay off, the report says. Countries with strong public awareness campaigns and laws that encourage people to quit smoking, such as in Northern Europe and North America, have seen a decline in the number of cases of lung cancer.

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“These new figures highlight that much remains to be done to address the alarming rise in the cancer burden globally and that prevention has a key role to play,” said Dr. Christopher Wild, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. “Efficient prevention and early detection policies must be implemented urgently to complement treatments in order to control this devastating disease across the world.”

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Read full, original post: Cancer will kill nearly 10 million people this year, report estimates

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