'Lifestyle' Cancers Increasing In Developing Countries

'Lifestyle' cancers increasing in developing countries
February 4th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Friday is World Cancer Day.  A new report from the American Cancer Society says cancers that are usually more common in developed countries such as lung and breast cancer, are now on the rise in developing countries and will continue to increase unless preventive measures are taken immediately.

7.6 million people died worldwide of cancer in 2008.  The number is expected to rise to 13.2 million deaths by 2030.  Experts say that's because more people will be on the planet and they will be living longer.

Among the highlights in the report:

  • Breast cancer is now the leading cause of cancer death for women in developing countries.  Previously, cervical cancer killed more women. Experts believe the change may be due in part to the adoption of unhealthy lifestyles and the link between breast cancer and obesity.
  • colon cancer is on the decline in the U.S. but it's increasing in regions such as Eastern Europe and Asia.   Spain has also seen a large increase  in colon cancer.  Researchers blame the growing smoking epidemic and obesity.
  • The rate of men dying from lung cancer is going down in the United States and other Western countries.  That's largely in part because tobacco use is decreasing.  However, several African and Asian countries including China are seeing a rise in lung cancer. As more people smoke in that part of the world, more people are getting lung cancer.

Experts say this trend can be reversed in developing countries if action is taking immediately.  The American Cancer Society's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Otis Brawley is calling on national and international public health agencies, governments and businesses to develop cancer prevention programs around the world.

Post by: Jennifer Bixler, CNN Medical Executive Producer, Leslie Wade, CNN Medical Executive Producer
Filed under: Cancer • Global Health