Alarming statistics: Cancer disease to reach 35 million by 2050, says world health organisation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released alarming statistics about cancer disclosing that the new number of the disease globally will reach 35 million by 2050, 77 per cent higher than the figure in 2022.

Penpushing reports that the world health body, made this known in a statement as nations globally mark this year’s World Cancer Day, pointing out that there were an estimated 20 million new cancer cases and 9.7 million deaths in 2022.

The World Health Organisation(WHO) explained that the new disease estimates were based on a survey conducted by its cancer arm , the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), linking the development to certain factors.

‘The rapidly growing global cancer burden reflects both population ageing and growth, as well as changes to people’s exposure to risk factors, several of which are associated with socioeconomic development. Tobacco, alcohol, and obesity are key factors behind the increasing incidence of cancer, with air pollution still a key driver of environmental risk factors’, the statement said.

Penpushing further reports that the statement added that the research findings published survey results from 115 countries, showing a majority of countries do not adequately finance priority cancer and palliative care services, as part of universal health coverage (UHC).

‘The estimated number of people who were alive within five years following a cancer diagnosis was 53.5 million. About one in five people develop cancer in their lifetime, approximately one in nine men and one in 12 women die from the diseases’, it stated.

Penpushing also reports that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), global cancer observatory covering 185 countries and 36 types of cancer, shows that 10 types of cancer accounted for about two-thirds of new cases and deaths globally in 2022.

The statement said the data, noted that  lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide, accounting for 12.4 per cent of new cases and 18.7 per cent of deaths, followed by female breast cancer accounting for 11.6 per cent of cases and seven per cent of deaths.

Penpushing reports that the World Health Organisation(WHO) stated that other major causes of death according to the research include bowel liver and stomach cancer, stressing that despite being entirely preventable, cervical cancer is the eighth most common cancer globally.

The statement emphasized that it is the ninth biggest cause of cancer death, accounting for 661,044 new cases and 348,186 deaths, and it  is the most common cancer in women in 25 countries, many of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.

‘WHO’s new global survey shed light on major inequalities and lack of financial protection for cancer around the world, with population, especially in lower-income countries, unable to access the basics of cancer care’

Penpushing further reports that the Director of the Department of Noncommunicable Disease, World Health Organisation(WHO), Bente Mikkelson, was quoted to have said that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) revealed that there are disparities in the cancer burden according to human advancements.

The statement noted that countries with a high Human Development Index (HDI) are at lower risk of being diagnosed with cancer while countries with a low Human Development Index (HDI) are at higher risk and they are at much higher risk of dying of the disease.

Penpushing also reports that World Health Organisation(WHO’s) global survey indicated a significant global disparity in cancer services, stating that major inequalities and lack of financial protection for cancer around the world, with populations, especially in lower-income countries, unable to access the basics of cancer care.

The Head of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Cary Adams, observed that despite the progress that has been made in the early detection of cancers and the treatment of cancer patients, significant disparities in cancer treatment outcomes exist not only between high and low-income regions of the world but also within countries.

Penpushing reports that this year, the theme for the annual global anniversary of World Cancer Day, which is marked every 4th of February, is: “Close the Care Gap: Everyone Deserves Access to Cancer Care.”

The day is a part of a three-year-long campaign that commenced in 2022 and now to end in 2024, and towards achieving the campaign’s objective, global health body  said it is working round the clock in partnership with governmental and non-governmental institutions, particularly to tackle the inequalities surrounding access to care.

“WHO, including through its cancer initiatives, is working intensively with more than 75 governments to develop, finance, and implement policies to promote cancer care for all. To expand on this work, major investments are urgently needed to address global inequalities in cancer outcomes’, the body said

Penpushing also reports that globally, different individuals and organisations are also mobilising resources for the care of cancer patients, while awareness campaigns for regular tests and observations are carried out.

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