Breast Cancer has officially surpassed lung cancer as the most widely prevalent type of cancer, with almost a 12% rise in new cases every year around the world, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, reported NDTV.
Lung cancer, which was the most common type of cancer for the past twenty years, has now slipped to second place, with colorectal cancer at third place, said Andre Ilbawi, a cancer specialist at the WHO at a UN briefing ahead of World Cancer Day.
Approximately 2.3 million new instances of breast cancer were reported a year ago, making up 11.7% of all cancer cases, the WHO said in a statement. "Among women, breast cancer is the most commonly-diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death worldwide," it said.
“For the first time, breast cancer now constitutes the most commonly occurring cancer globally.”Andre Ilbawi, cancer expert at the World Health Organisation.
Thanks to the steady growth in population and the increase in life expectancy, the number of new cases of cancer is expected to rise to about 30 million per year in 2040 from the 19.3 million reported in 2020, according to Andre Ilbawi
Ilbawi also points to obesity in women being a likely reason for the rise in the overall number of cases.
The WHO cautions that about a third of the deaths from cancer can be attributed to tobacco use, a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables, a lack of physical exercise, and heavy alcohol consumption.
Andre Ilbawi further goes on to talk about the impact of the ongoing covid pandemic on cancer treatment around the world.
From delays in diagnosis and indefinite halts in research, to exhaustion and stress of health workers, the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have proved especially disruptive when it comes to administering cancer treatment in almost half the countries that the WHO surveyed.
(Written with inputs from NDTV)