The Changing Global Burden of Cancer: Transitions in Human Development and Implications for Cancer Prevention and Control

Authors: Freddie Bray, Isabelle Soerjomataram

A global overview of geographic and income-related patterns of cancer is presented in this chapter. The authors identify key characteristics of the global cancer transition. Among noncommunicable diseases, cancer is a leading cause of death, especially in high-income countries (HICs). Incidence and mortality measurements of the impact of cancer and relevant data come from the WHO mortality databank. The types of cancers (lung, liver, breast, stomach, oral, cervical, and leukemia) that constitute the burden of the disease differ from HICs to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Men continue to use tobacco in greater numbers than women so they face a growing risk of lung cancer while women in LMICs experience proportionately more breast and cervical cancer than in HICs where early detection and treatment are available. Projections for 2030 appear pessimistic about the future burden of cancer; nevertheless, targeted interventions including lifestyle changes and vaccination programs can counter factors like obesity, smoking, air pollution, alcohol consumption, and infections that are likely to give rise to cancers.
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