More and more women will die of cancer
According to a new study, the number of cancer deaths among women will increase dramatically in the coming decades. The forecast is for an increase of almost 60 percent in less than 20 years. Education and better prevention should counteract the trend.
Cancer-related deaths among women will increase massively
A few months ago, scientists reported that cancer death rates would be reduced by 23 percent in 20 years, but these numbers only applied to the United States and to both sexes. The situation is very different worldwide - and especially for women: According to a new study, cancer deaths among women are set to increase massively in the coming decades.
Aging society and population growth
According to the study presented in Paris on Tuesday, around 5.5 million women worldwide could die from malignant tumors in 2030. That would be a significant increase of almost 60 percent in less than two decades. In 2012, an estimated 3.5 million women died of cancer.
The American Cancer Society, which worked with the German pharmaceutical company Merck for the study, attributes the massive increase in deaths primarily to the aging of society and population growth.
Developing countries particularly affected
The study authors expect the negative development to affect low and middle income countries in particular. Because there the life expectancy increases due to the progress in the health system, at the same time the economic development has effects on risk factors such as overweight.
Sally Cowal, co-author of the study, told the AFP news agency on the sidelines of the Paris World Cancer Fighting Congress that the survey also shows the "large geographic inequality" in the availability of prevention and treatment options.
Particularly in developing countries, better education and prevention and more treatment options for the sick are needed.
Second leading cause of death in women
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in women after cardiovascular disease. Most fatalities include breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer and uterine cancer.
In Germany, lung cancer deaths among women in particular are increasing dramatically, the Federal Statistical Office recently reported. In particular, the late effects of smoking should be mentioned as the cause. In the past year, scientists had already reported that lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer in Europe.
Access to early detection and treatment methods
Scientists say many of the world's cancer cases, including cervical cancer, could be prevented if young girls were vaccinated against Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
The study authors still see a lot of catching up to do here. Breast cancer access to early detection and treatment remains a major problem in developing countries. The study speaks of an "undersupply" for radiation devices in Africa and Southeast Asia. According to the information, for example, there is no possibility of radiation therapy in around 30 countries.
Save the lives of many women
"Cancer not only affects physically the sick women and their families, but also has economic consequences," wrote the pharmaceutical company Merck in a press release. According to this, the study identified a worldwide economic burden of around $ 286 billion for cancer in 2009.
"Both the public and private sectors, as global healthcare stakeholders, need to find ways to reduce the impact of cancer on women through greater prevention and treatment," said US Ambassador Sally Cowal, senior vice president of Global Health the American Cancer Society. "This is the only way to save the lives of many women worldwide." (Ad)