A study on Friday reported that the total number of people with cancer is likely to surge by over 75 per cent across the world by the year 2030. The rise is likely to rise sharply in poor countries because they adopt unhealthy westernised lifestyles.
According to a paper from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, several developing countries were expected to witness a rise in living standards in the upcoming decades. Unfortunately, this rise in the standard of living is likely to come at a cost i.e. an increase in the total number of cancers associated with poor diet, bad habits linked with diseases such as colorectal and prostate cancer and lack of exercise.
Acknowledging the fact that cancer is the leading cause of death in high-income countries, Freddie Bray from IARC’s cancer information section said that it is set to become the principal cause of sickness or morbidity and mortality in the following decades in every part of the world.
The study is the first to put light on the present and future state of cancer that may vary between the richer and poorer countries based on the measurement of development as ranked by the United Nations’ Human Development Index. The researchers involved in the study found that countries that were poorly developed i.e. mostly those in the sub-Saharan Africa, had a high number of cancer cases that were linked to infections, particularly cervical cancer and other cancers such as that of the liver, stomach and Kaposi’s sarcoma.
The study observed that richer countries such as Australia, Britain, Russia and Brazil had more cancers that were associated with smoking.
Emphasising the need for prevention measures, Christopher Wild, IARC’s director said that countries should take account of challenges that face them and prioritise the targeted interventions.
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