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June 2nd, 2010
05:42 PM ET

WHO predicts 21 million annual cancer cases by 2030

By Elizabeth Landau
CNN.com Health Writer/Producer

By 2030, there will be more than 13 million deaths from cancer around the world and nearly 21 million diagnosed cases annually, according to a new report from the World Health Organization.

About 12.7 million new cancer cases and 7.6 million cancer deaths occurred in 2008, says GLOBOCAN 2008, the World Health Organization's new online resource for cancer globally. The map above, from the Web site, shows the incidence of lung cancer worldwide, with green indicating low levels and red showing high levels.

Less developed regions of the world have higher cancer incidence and mortality, the WHO said. Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer, with 1.61 million cases in 2008. Breast cancer, with 1.38 million cases, and colorectal cancers, with 1.23 million cases, are the second and third most common.

Lung cancer is also the most common cause of cancer death, with 1.38 million reported. Stomach cancer, with 0.74 million, and liver cancers with 0.69 million, follow.

WHO noted that cancer is not exclusive to high-resource countries, and it is not rare anywhere in the world. But there are regional patterns - in developing regions, cervix and liver cancers are more common; developed regions have a higher burden of prostate and colorectal cancers.

You can view more maps of various kinds of cancer worldwide here.

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Shantan

    Why does this surprise anyone? Smoking is the number one killer and the number one cause of the cost of health care (Cancer, Heart disease, and Lung disease) – IT IS STILL LEGAL?? Nothing in our health care reform addresses this issue. No raised tobacco taxes? While it affects our health care so much. And our president is a smoker – great example for our kids.

    June 3, 2010 at 06:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Gil

    I wonder if the lower number of cases on the continent of Africa could be that fewer cases are found and reported due to the lack of medical care and access to hospitals and doctors?

    June 3, 2010 at 07:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. NP

    With all the chemicals people are putting into the ground, water, air, and into their bodies via food and beverages, this isn't surprising.

    June 3, 2010 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Kim

    It's interesting that the WHO point out that less developed countries have a lower rate of cancer, since it is also likely that the health care and ability to actually detect the cancers is also less in these developing places. In essence, it may not be a difference in occurrence rate (while it very well could be), but rather a significant difference in detection rate.

    June 3, 2010 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Andrea

    Why then doesn't WHO talk about how to prevent cancer and we should be spending some of those cancer research dollars educating out youth as well as adults and elderly about the better habits of eating healthy, incorporating more organic or at least natural foods into our diets and less processed foods, eating more vegetables/fruit and less meat, wear sunblock and STOP SMOKING!

    We as Americans (and other countries for that matter) need to start taking responsibility for our health and stop buying into the processed food, go go go lifesyle and slow down and eat real food! Teach your kids better habits, eat a salad, go for a walk and live a long healthy life!

    I am not saying this is a 100% cure all, but it will greatly reduce cancer rates....its been proven! Its better than the alternative.

    June 3, 2010 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Joan

    No one is talking about CHEM TRAILS.
    The 'powers that be' are spraying us with all kinds of chemicals under the lame excuse that NASA is trying to 'shield' the earth from the suns rays in order to prevent the crack pot excuse of global warming.
    They are smart enough to know these chemicals are killing and mutating all life so why are they doing it? POPULATION CONTROL.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Knew it all along

    I pretty much figured we will all die from some type of cancer...Sad, scary and predictable with all in the air, food and medications.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Lori

    Cancer is preventable because it is a degenerative disease. Nobody is born with cancer unless their mother was exposed to radiation while pregnant. Too much money is made from the treatment of cancer so there isn’t a monetary incentive for a cure. According to John Hopkin's we all have cancer about 5 times during our lifetimes. Our body’s immune system usually rids itself of the cancer cells and we have no idea that it was there in the first place. If you limit your exposure to chemicals, cleanse your body everyday, eat only organic, non-GMO, Alkaline and enzyme rich whole foods, you can reduce or eliminate your chances of a cancer death.

    June 3, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. SG

    Maybe you will be surprised when you get lung disease Shantan. The fact is that only 15-20% of all smokers will ever get lung disease. It's proven fact you would know, if you would have taken the time to research it.

    Will you be surprised as disease numbers rise when so many in the US will have never smoked? Some of my friends, who have never smoked or been around it, have Emphesema now.

    Is most of the US like you, too narrow minded and quick to blame it all on smoking, to look for the real cause? Or, maybe you are filling your pockets off the other sources of pollution that are possibly causing this? I sure hope neither of these are true or we will never find the real causes of these diseases.

    June 3, 2010 at 18:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Sad

    As a cancer researcher, the comments here are very illuminating. It's surprising how people choose to ignore facts for quackery.

    I would like to point out that cancer is practically inevitable in every single person if they live long enough. Simply put, every time any cell in your body divides it picks up mutations...it's the driving force of evolution. It's kind of amazing if you think about it. Your DNA is not static, but constantly changing. Often times those mutations occur in a gene that is critical for normal cells and then it becomes a tumor cell.

    No one is holding back a cure because it's profitable to treat over long periods of time. I would like to point out that we, as researchers, have cured cancer many times over in a whole number of patients. I think the general public expects a kind of magic bullet that will work for everyone, and no such thing will ever exist in my opinion. The problem is the existing cures only work for a very small number of individuals (often times less than 5%, depending on the therapy). The trick now is to find out how to tailor current and future therapies on an individual basis, rather than on a population level.

    June 3, 2010 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. To sad.

    You're wasting your time here. Good points, none the less. Everyone loves to be the victim, and fantasy can be a lot more exciting for some than real life. Then again maybe we're just tools of the system....

    June 4, 2010 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. elaine

    Cancer is the pandemic. It's an infectious disease. We get it from exposure to carcinogens.

    June 5, 2010 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.