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WHO Warns of Global Cancer Upsurge

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WHO Warns of Global Cancer Upsurge

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The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts up to a 70 percent increase in different types of cancer cases across the world within the next 20 years, according to World Cancer Report 2014, a publication released by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The report “predicts new cancer cases will rise from an estimated 14 million annually in 2012 to 22 million within two decades. Over the same period, cancer deaths are predicted to rise from 8.2 million a year to 13 million” (CNN).

“The latest World Cancer Report says it is implausible to think we can treat our way out of the disease and that the focus must now be on preventing new cases,” the Guardian stated.

“Even the richest countries will struggle to cope with the [spiraling] costs of treatment and care for patients, and the lower income countries, where numbers are expected to be highest, are ill-equipped for the burden to come.”

According to the agency, half of all cancer cases are preventable.

“The World Cancer Research Fund has observed an ‘alarming’ level of ignorance when it comes to the role of diet in developing cancer,” International Business Times wrote.

Referencing the report, the article added that “smoking, infections, obesity, alcohol, air pollution, [and] radiation are said to be the major sources of ‘preventable’ cancer.”

“The rise of cancer worldwide is a major obstacle to human development and well-being,” Dr. Christopher Wild, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer and co-editor of the publication stated in a release. “These new figures and projections send a strong signal that immediate action is needed to confront this human disaster, which touches every community worldwide, without exception.” 

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