Two disturbing reports were issued this week on the cancer front, with one noting women will see a spike in cancer deaths over the next decade or so—5.5 million cancer deaths by the year 2030. The other report adds that women afflicted with breast cancer alone could nearly double from 1.7 million diagnosed last year to 3.2 million by 2030, the Guardian reports. The first report, compiled by Merck and the American Cancer Society and released at the World Cancer Congress in Paris on Tuesday, says the predicted surge in cancer deaths would amount to a 57% increase, per a press release. The same report notes all four top cancers—breast, lung, colorectal, and cervical—are mostly preventable or easily detected early on, aiding treatment. The second report, based on three papers in the Lancet, adds cervical cancer may rise by as much as 25% by 2030, leading to 700,000 diagnoses.
That report also notes women in low- and middle-income countries carry much of the burden of breast and cervical cancers, with less access to quality care and a greater likelihood of dying from their illnesses than women in richer nations. Perhaps a bit ironically, some of the cancers in the lower-income countries used to be prevalent only in higher-income ones, but as the poorer countries started going through "rapid economic transition," the women there began experiencing risk factors like their more affluent counterparts, including "physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, obesity, and reproductive factors" like putting off having kids, per an ACS VP. "The global community cannot continue to ignore the problem—hundreds of thousands of women are dying unnecessarily every year," Richard Sullivan, co-author of the Lancet report, says in the release. (Good news on the pancreatic cancer front.)