FACTBOX: Cancer burden growing in world's poor regions

Tue Dec 9, 2008 3:53pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - With smoking increasing in many poor countries, cancer is projected to become the leading cause of death worldwide in 2010, passing heart disease, global health officials said on Tuesday.

Following are some key facts from a report issued by the U.N. World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer.

-- New cases of cancer are forecast to rise by 1 percent per year, with larger increases in China, Russia and India. Cancer is becoming an increasing burden in poor countries.

-- In 2008, 12.4 million new cases of cancer (6.7 million men and 5.8 million women) will be diagnosed.

-- 7.6 million people will die of cancer (4.3 million men and 3.3 million women) from cancer in 2008.

-- 28 million cancer survivors will be living who were diagnosed within the previous five years.

-- For men, lung cancer was most common. For women, it was breast cancer.

-- By 2030, an estimated 26.4 million people will be diagnosed with cancer each year, 17 million people will be killed by it and 75 million cancer survivors will be living after being diagnosed in the prior five years.

-- The most common forms of cancer differ depending on the wealth of a nation. In high-income countries, cancers of the lung, breast, prostate and colon and rectum dominate while a third of cancers are caused by tobacco use and 10 percent by chronic infection.

-- In low- and medium-income countries, cancers of the stomach, liver, oral cavity and cervix dominate. One quarter of the cancer burden in low-income countries may be attributable to chronic infection, but 12 percent are caused by tobacco, and this proportion is growing.

(Editing by Maggie Fox)