If current trends continue, the world will see a 60% increase in cancer diagnoses through 2040, the World Health Organization said in its February 2020 Report on Cancer: Setting Priorities, Investing Wisely, and Providing Care for All.
Although the cancer rate has stabilized in the United States, WHO said that it expected low- and middle-income countries to see the highest increase (81%) in cancer diagnoses. The organization attributed the disparity to the countries’ limited resources to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancers.
The report highlighted strategies proven to change outcomes:
- Tobacco control to prevent 25% of cancer deaths
- Hepatitis B vaccinations to prevent liver cancer
- Human papillomavirus vaccinations to prevent cervical cancer
- Increased access to screening and treatment
- Implementing high-impact cancer management interventions
- Increased access to palliative care, including pain management
“This is a wake-up call to all of us to tackle the unacceptable inequalities between cancer services in rich and poor countries,” Ren Minghui, WHO assistant director-general, universal health coverage/communicable and noncommunicable diseases, said.