In olden days, cancer was considered a disease of rich man, now the saying is no longer compelling. Cancer has become a leading cause of death, worldwide, irrespective of age, followed by heart disease and stroke. Total number of cases of cancer has been fueling year by year, globally. A recent report published in the medical journal The Lancet, discusses the economic impact of cancer globally, which found to be greater than any other cause of death worldwide.
- The World Health Organization has predicted that cancer would overtake heart disease this year as the leading cause of death. About 7.6 million people died of cancer in 2008, and about 12.4 million new cases are diagnosed each year.
- Cancer accounted for close to one trillion dollars in economic losses from premature death and disability in 2009.
- Bronchus, lung and trachea cancers account for $180 billion of the $895 billion total global economy, and are nearly 20% more than heart disease’s toll ($753 billion).
- It is estimated that 8 million people will die prematurely because of tobacco smoking by 2030
- 80% of cancer deaths take place in poor countries due to lack of funding to deal with the problems. Only 5% of global resources for cancer are spent in developing countries.
- In developing countries, the cancers with the greatest impact are-
- Lung cancer
- Colon/rectal cancer
- Breast cancer
- In low-economy countries, the cancers which account for greatest burden are:
- Cancers of the mouth and oropharynx
- Cancer of the cervix
- Breast cancer
“Heart conditions usually hit people towards the end of their life. The cancers struck people...
much earlier in their life cycle,” said the lead author, cancer society health economist Hana Ross.
The latest report is an eye opener to the world revealing the spread of this devastating problem that has become potential economic threat, especially for developing countries where proper preventive measure are not available or if available, not affordable. The best way to reduce the growing burden of cancer is to spread awareness about the causes, and interventions to manage and prevent the disease. Research revealed that most of the cancer cases can be controlled without going to expensive treatments, if diagnosed in preliminary stage. According to WHO 30% of cancer could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors like reducing tobacco use, reducing excessive weight, increasing fruits and vegetables intake, regular exercises, reducing alcohol intake, reducing exposure to sunlight etc.
If you would like to take a part in health awareness drive, join in and share with your family and friends.