Cancer Cases Could Increase 50% Worldwide by 2020, WHO Report Projects
The number of cancer cases worldwide could increase 50% by 2020 because of unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyles, increasing tobacco use and extended life spans, according to a World Health Organization study released yesterday, the Boston Globe reports (Mishra, Boston Globe, 4/4). The WHO's World Cancer Report predicts that new cases of cancer could jump from 10 million per year to 15 million per year. While small increases in cancer rates are projected for North America and western and southern Europe, some of the greatest increases are expected in China, India, Eastern Europe and South America. A decline in cancer rates is expected in only one region, Scandinavia, where health programs emphasize detection and prevention (Naik, Wall Street Journal, 4/4). The WHO report suggests that one-third of the projected new cases could be prevented by curbing cancer-causing infections and by adopting healthier lifestyles (Reaney, Reuters/Washington Post, 4/4). Dr. Paul Kleihues, director of the WHO's cancer research agency, said, "Governments should encourage physical activity and discourage smoking" (Boston Globe, 4/4). The World Cancer Report, which covers cancer's causes, prevention and treatment, is the first comprehensive report on cancer worldwide, and the WHO plans to update it every few years (Ross, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 4/3). Information about the World Cancer Report is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.