Low-income countries are vulnerable to a surge of cancer cases

Low-income countries are vulnerable to a surge of cancer cases

The American Cancer Society’s research indicates that cancer incidence and mortality rates in low-income countries are expected to rise significantly in the next 20 years due to limited resources for prevention and diagnosis. The report, published in the Journal of Oncology for Clinicians on April 5, predicts that by 2022, there will be 20 million new cancer cases and 9.7 million deaths worldwide. It is estimated that one in five individuals will develop cancer at some point in their lives, with higher rates for men and women.

By 2050, the global number of cancer cases could reach 35 million, a 77% increase from 2022. Dr. William Dahut, the Chief Scientific Officer of the American Cancer Society, attributes this rise to factors such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, obesity, and an aging population. The burden of cancer is shifting from high-income countries to low-income regions where access to early detection and quality treatment is limited.

Dr. Dahut warns that without intervention, morbidity and mortality rates in third world countries could skyrocket. The disparity in diagnosis and treatment between poor and wealthy nations puts women in low-income countries at a higher risk of dying from cancer due to late diagnosis and inadequate care. To address this social and economic crisis, strategic investments are needed to prevent millions of cancer-related deaths globally.

Efforts to reduce pollution, limit exposure to carcinogens, promote healthy behaviors, and address barriers to vaccination against preventable cancers are essential to curbing the cancer epidemic. Dr. Jean-Yves Blay, from the European Society of Medical Oncology, emphasizes the urgency of taking decisive action to save lives and close the gap in cancer care worldwide.

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