Cancer May Soon Be World's Leading Killer. Experts say one reason is
because more people are smoking cigarettes in developing countries.
Health experts predict that soon,
more people will die from cancer than from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria
combined. They expect that by two thousand ten, cancer will become the world's
leading cause of death.
Heart disease is the current leading killer. A World Health Organization report
made the predictions in December.
Experts say one reason more people are dying from cancer is because more people
aresmoking cigarettes in developing countries. Forty percent of the world's
smokers are believed to live in China and India alone. Other things including
high fat diets and reduced physical activity are also believed to be pushing
the numbers upward.
Rates of breast cancer in Japan, Singapore and South Korea are now three times
what they were forty years ago.
The W.H.O. report estimates that twelve million people will be found to have
some form of cancer this year. It predicts that more than seven million people
will die early as a result of cancer. And more than five million of the new
cancer cases will be in developing countries.
The number of cancer cases and deaths from cancer are expected to increase one
percent each year. Experts are predicting the largest increases will be in
China, Russia, and India.
Without new treatments, the W.H.O. says, the number of new cancer patients
could reach twenty-seven million a year by two thousand thirty and the number
of deaths could reach seventeen million a year.
A separate report in December said the number of men and women dying of cancer
in the United States had dropped for the first time on record. The report in
the Journal of the National Cancer Institute said the drop was mainly the
result of fewer cases of lung, prostate and colorectal cancer in men. In women,
it resulted from fewer cases of breast and colorectal cancer.
The American Cancer Society says governments can do things to help prevent the
increase in cancer cases and deaths. One idea is to provide poor and developing
nations with vaccines that help to prevent some cancer-causing infections.
Another suggestion is more support for tobacco-control programs. And the
cancer society says health officials and governments should invest more in
cancer research and early detection.
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Translated by Buasawan Simmala