Disturbing news on World Cancer Day: Cases are poised to surge in the coming years, jumping 50% by 2030, according to a UN report. That means 21.6 million cases per year, compared to a rate that was 14 million in 2012, AFP reports. By 2035, we're likely to see 24 million new cases a year. Deaths from cancer are set to climb to 13 million per year, versus 8.2 million in 2012. A key reason for the upswing: lung cancer that's "inextricably linked" to Big Tobacco sales efforts. Developing countries will face the greatest danger as wealthier people increasingly smoke, drink, and eat processed foods while getting less exercise.
But while more than 60% of cases and 70% of deaths took place in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America, the percentage of populations affected were higher in wealthier countries, including western countries and Japan and South Korea. Lung cancer was responsible for 19.4% of deaths, the highest of any cancer. While it's "implausible to treat our way out of cancer," says a UN official, the report finds that "about half of all cancers could be avoided" by focusing on prevention and early treatment. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization finds that just one in 10 people needing palliative care are getting it; a third of those are people with cancer. (Read more cancer stories.)