Data indicate 12 million new cancer cases worldwide in 2007, nearly eight million cancer deaths

| December 21, 2007

          The AFP (12/18) reports, "More than 12 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2007 and 7.6 million people were killed by the disease," roughly "20,000 [deaths] each day of the year," according to Global Cancer Facts and Figures, a study published by the American Cancer Society (ACS). The study also detailed that only "5.4 million new cases and 2.9 million fatalities occurred in developed nations over the course of the year."

        According to the CBC (12/17), "The report identifies major differences in the most common types of cancers between developed and developing nations," with "[t]he three most common cancers in men in developed countries" listed as "prostate, lung and colorectal cancers," compared to the three most common cancers in men living in developing nations, which are listed as "lung, stomach, and liver" cancers. Meanwhile, the three most deadly cancers in women living in developed countries "are breast, colorectal and lung cancer," while women in developing nations face the largest threat from "breast, cervi[cal], and stomach" cancers.

        HealthDay (12/18, Reinberg) quotes Dr. Ahmedin Jemal of the ACS’s Cancer Occurrence Office, as saying, "The point of the report is to promote cancer control worldwide, and increase awareness worldwide." Explaining the rising number of cancer cases worldwide, Jemal noted, "There is increasing life expectancy, and cancer occurs more frequently in older age groups." Data in the study also highlighted differences in cancers between developed and developing nations, as "the incidence of infection-related cancers remains three times higher in developing countries compared with developed countries (26 percent vs. eight percent)."

        WebMD (12/18, Hitti) adds that there may be several explanations for differences in cancer rates between developed and developing nations. "Part of that gap is due to infection and lack of access to medical care in the developing world." However, "Lifestyle factors also play a role." Jemal noted that the "cancer burden is also increasing 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." Survival rates are also different between depending on where patients live, as highlighted by data indicating that "roughly 81 percent of U.S. women survive for at least five years after breast cancer diagnosis, compared with about 32 percent of women in sub-Saharan Africa, where early detection and state-of-the-art treatments are" less readily available.

        Access, contact may be main barriers to mammography for the underserved, Mayo Clinic researchers suggest. The UPI (12/18) reports, "The problem with the breast healthcare of underserved women" who have an abnormal finding on mammogram centers on access and contact, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic’s facility in Florida.  Based on the results of a free service run from the clinic for five years, researchers contend that some of the greatest obstacles involved "transportation" and "housing."  The Mayo Clinic’s Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic provided free services to 447 women who had initially received an abnormal mammogram result.

        According to the AHN (12/18), "Barriers to coordinating diagnosis and treatment for cancer to underserved women include the fact that many of them don’t have a telephone or address."  Additionally, "many uninsured women don’t have cars and most of the clinics were not accessible by public transportation."  During the course of the program — which ultimately detected 38 cancers in 447 patients — treatment time for the patients lasted from "several months to less than 36 days."

Category: General Healthcare News

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