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New report estimates 12 million cancer deaths worldwide
Date:12/17/2007

ncreasing as people in the developing countries adopt western lifestyles such as cigarette smoking, higher consumption of saturated fat and calorie-dense foods, and reduced physical activity.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimates that in 2002 there were approximately 24.6 million people worldwide who had been diagnosed with cancer in the past five years. Survival rates for many cancers are poorer in economically developing countries than in developed countries largely because of lack of availability of early detection and treatment services. For example, overall five-year childhood cancer survival rates are around 75 percent in Europe and North America, compared to three-year survival rates of only 48 to 62 percent in Central American countries.

Special Section: The Tobacco Epidemic

The publication includes a special section on tobaccos increasing toll. An estimated five million people worldwide died from tobacco use in the year 2000. Of these, about 30 percent (1.42 million) resulted from cancer, with 850,000 deaths from lung cancer alone. Overall, tobacco was responsible for about 100 million deaths around the world during the 20th century, and it is projected to kill more than 1 billion people in the 21st century, with the great majority of these deaths occurring in developing countries. The report says halting the rapid diffusion of tobacco consumption to developing countries is an urgent global health priority.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 84 percent of the approximately 1.3 billion smokers in the world live in countries with a developing or transitional economy. In China alone, there are 350 million smokers, more than the entire population of the U.S. If current smoking prevalence patterns continue, there will be two billion smokers worldwide by the year 2030, half of whom will die of smoking-related diseases if they do not quit.


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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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