The Latest Rising Cancer Statistics

(HealthDay News) — In 2022, there were almost 20 million new cases of cancer as well as 9.7 million deaths from cancer, according to a study published online April 4 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Freddie Bray, Ph.D., from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and colleagues present global cancer statistics for 2022 by world region.

The researchers found there were about 20 million new cases of cancer in 2022, including nonmelanoma skin cancers, as well as 9.7 million deaths from cancer. These estimates suggest that about one in five men or women develop cancer in a lifetime, and one in nine men and one in 12 women die from cancer. In 2022, lung cancer was the most frequently diagnosed cancer, responsible for close to 2.5 million new cases (12.4 percent of cancers globally), followed by cancers of the female breast, colorectum, prostate, and stomach (11.6, 9.6, 7.3, and 4.9 percent, respectively). The leading cause of cancer death was lung cancer, with an estimated 1.8 million deaths (18.7 percent), followed by colorectal, liver, female breast, and stomach cancers (9.3, 7.8, 6.9, and 6.8 percent, respectively). In women and men, the most frequent cancers were breast and lung cancer (both cases and deaths). Across world regions, incidence rates varied from fourfold to fivefold for men and women.

“The overall scale of cancer and the diversity of cancer profiles by world region and human development level reemphasize the need for a global escalation of targeted cancer control measures,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

Why cancer is on the rise globally

Cancer remains one of the most significant global public health challenges, with its incidence steadily increasing over recent decades. This trend has raised concerns among healthcare professionals and researchers worldwide. Several factors contribute to the rising prevalence of cancer on a global scale, requiring the need for public health interventions.

Aging populations

One of the primary drivers behind the increasing incidence of cancer globally is demographic changes, particularly the aging population. As populations age, the risk of developing cancer rises significantly. As one ages, the accumulation of genetic mutations and exposure to carcinogens over time increases the likelihood of cellular abnormalities and malignant growths. As more people reach older age groups, the incidence of cancer naturally rises. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the people of people older than 65 years old is expected to double by 2050, contributing to a higher prevalence of age-related diseases, cancer included.

Unhealthy lifestyle choices across the world

Factors such as tobacco use, poor diet, limited physical activity, and excessive alcohol consumption are strongly associated with an increased risk of various cancers. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimates that tobacco smoking accounts for approximately 22 percent of global cancer deaths. Similarly, obesity, contributed by sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits, is linked to an elevated risk of several cancers, including breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer.

Environmental factors

Exposure to pollution and dangerous occupations is another significant contributor to the rising cancer incidence. Industrialization, urbanization, and agricultural activity have led to the increase of cancer-causing agents in the environment, increasing cancer risks for populations worldwide. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), occupational exposure to carcinogens contributes to approximately 8 percent of cancer cases globally. Factors such as air pollution, chemical contaminants, and radiation exposure are associated with an increased risk of lung, bladder, and skin cancers.

Biological predisposition

Genetic and biological factors also contribute to individual susceptibility to cancer. Genetic predisposition, inherited mutations, and familial cancer syndromes account for a small but significant proportion of cancer cases. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), inherited genetic mutations contribute to approximately 5 to 10 percent of all cancers. Alterations in cellular pathways, DNA repair mechanisms, and immune responses contribute to cancer initiation and progression.

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