Zee Media Bureau
Paris: By the year 2030, cancer will claim the lives of 5.5 million women per year, a report has said, a near 60-per cent increase in less than two decades. This is approximately the population of Denmark.
Citing growth and ageing of global population as the reason, the report also said that the highest toll will be among women in poor and middle-income countries and much of it from cancers which are largely preventable.
"Most of the deaths occur in young- and middle-aged adults,", placing a heavy burden on families and national economies, said Sally Cowal, senior vice president of global health at the American Cancer Society, which compiled the report with pharmaceutical company Merck.
The review "highlights the large geographic inequality in availability of resources and preventive measures and treatment to combat the growing burden of cancer," she told AFP.
Cancer is one of the major causes of deaths around the world and is already killing one in seven women around the world.
All four of the deadliest cancers - breast, colorectal, lung and cervical cancer - are mostly preventable or can be detected early, when treatment is more successful.
In poorer countries, a much smaller proportion of cancer cases are diagnosed and treated than in rich ones, while a much bigger group dies.
The relative burden is growing for developing countries as people live longer due to better basic healthcare.
Women in these countries are also increasingly exposed to known cancer risk factors "associated with rapid economic transition," said Cowal, "such as physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, obesity, and reproductive factors" such as postponing motherhood.
"Due to these changes, cancers that were once common only in high-income countries are becoming more prevalent," said the report entitled "The Global Burden of Cancer in Women."
It was presented today at the World Cancer Congress in Paris.
(With Agency inputs)