Scientists have alerted to rise in cancer cases and deaths worldwide.
According to a new scientific study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine, United States, cancer fatalities rose to 10 million and new infections jumped to over 23 million globally in 2019.
At the start of the decade in 2010, total cancer deaths numbered 8.29 million worldwide and new cases were 18.7 million.
The counts by the end of 2019 represent increases of 20.9 per cent and 26.3 per cent.
The paper was published on December 30, 2021 in JAMA Oncology and is part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2019 (GBD 2019).
The researchers estimated cancer burden and trends globally for 204 countries and territories. They found that cancer was second behind only cardiovascular diseases in the number of deaths, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and years of life lost (YLLs) among 22 groups of diseases and injuries globally in 2019. Within the total cancer burden, the five leading causes of cancer-related DALYs for both sexes combined were tracheal, bronchus and lung (TBL) cancer; colon and rectum cancer; stomach cancer; breast cancer and liver cancer. TBL cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths in 119 countries and territories for males and 27 countries and territories for females.
Although the absolute burden of the disease increased in deaths and new cases from 2010 to 2019, the global age-standardised mortality and incident rates decreased by 5.9 per cent and 1.1 per.
From a country perspective, the age-standardised mortality rate decreased in 131 nations and territories and the age-standardised incidence lessened in 75 countries and territories. The small percentage declines globally are promising, but the researchers caution that there may be setbacks in cancer care and outcomes due to COVID-19.
The effects of the pandemic on cancer morbidity, mortality and prevention and control efforts were not accounted for in the study.