New cancer cases rise to 14.1 million people worldwide: WHO

Zee Media Bureau\Philaso G Kaping

New Delhi: Around 14.1 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2012, according to a new report by the World Health Organisation.

The data released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialized cancer agency of WHO, showed that the number of new cases has risen by 1.4 million from 12.7 million in 2008.

GLOBOCAN 2012, IARC’s online database provides the most recent estimates for 28 types of cancer in 184 countries worldwide and offers a comprehensive overview of the global cancer burden, said WHO in a press statement.

During this time frame the number of cancer-related deaths jumped from 7.6 million to 8.2 million of which more than half occurred in less developed regions of the world.

The data also indicated the rise in breast cancer cases as 1.7 million women were diagnosed with the disease in 2012 alone and it is the most common cause of cancer death among women.

“Breast cancer is also a leading cause of cancer death in the less developed countries of the world,” said Dr David Forman, Head of the IARC Section of Cancer Information. 

Change in lifestyle and lack of advanced medical care in these regions are responsible for the high number of cases.

Cervical cancer is also seeing a sharp rise among women living in these areas especially in sub-Saharan Africa and rural India. It is the fourth most common cancer affecting women worldwide, after breast, colorectal, and lung cancers and also the fourth most common cause of cancer death among women.

“Cervical cancer can have devastating effects with a very high human, social, and economic cost, affecting women in their prime. But this disease should not be a death sentence, even in poor countries,” said Dr Rengaswamy Sankaranarayanan, a lead investigator for an IARC research project in rural India. “Low-tech and inexpensive screening tools exist and could significantly reduce the burden of cervical cancer deaths right now in less developed countries.”

Lung cancer tops the list of most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide as well being the number one cause of cancer deaths.