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.