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Worldwide Cancer Deaths Among Women Could Rise to 60% by 2030

Nov 04, 2016 06:34 AM EDT
Walkers Raise Funds for in American Cancer Society
According to a new report from the American Cancer Society, the number of women dying from cancer is expected to increase 60% by 2030.
(Photo : David McNew/Getty Images)

A new report warns about the increase of cancer-related deaths among women by 2030. According to the report by the American Cancer Society (ACS), worldwide cancer deaths among women is expected to rise to 5.5 million in 2030, which is about the equivalent of Denmark's population.

The increase accounts for nearly 60 percent increase from 2012 cancer death rates of 3.5 million women. The report, which was presented at the World Cancer Congress in Paris on Nov. 1, Tuesday, death toll will be mainly of breast cancer and the increase in deaths is expected to come from women living in low- and middle-income countries.

According to the report, women in these countries are increasingly adopting riskier lifestyles like smoking and unhealthy diet.

"Most of the deaths occur in young- and middle-aged adults, placing a heavy burden on families and national economies," Sally Cowal, senior vice president of global health at the ACS who compiled the report with pharmaceutical company Merck, said in a statement.

Cancer in Poorer Nations

In 2012, the highest cancer death rates among women were recorded in poorer nations such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya, Mongolia and Papua New Guinea. Cancer survival was also 60 percent less low- and middle-income countries like South Africa, Mongolia, Algeria and India.

According to medical experts, while certain preventive measures could be taken against cancer - such as hepatitis B vaccination to prevent liver cancer and mammograms to detect breast cancer - the same options might not be available in most developing countries, CNN reports.

The highest ratio of cancer per population group was still reported in high-income countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia, but this is largely due to better health care screening and detection.

Death by Breast Cancer

 A recent Lancet report also indicated that cases of women with breast cancer alone could nearly double to 3.2 million by 2030 from 1.7 million in 2015.

In 2012, breast cancer was the second biggest cause of death in women all over the world after cardiovascular disease. Alongside breast cancer, colorectal, lung, and cervical cancers are the biggest killers, but the report noted that these cancers are mostly preventable or can be detected early.

Cervical cancer is most prevalent in many African countries. According to Cowal, those who are HIV-positive are five times more likely to develop cervical cancer. Southern and eastern African nations with higher rates of HIV also had higher rates of cervical cancer.

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