Two million women were diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer last year, according to global figures. A sharp rise in cases was seen in women under 50 in low-income nations, say US experts. Women in richer countries fared better due in part to screening, medicines, anti-smoking policies and vaccines, they report in the Lancet. The research backs calls for world leaders to make cancer prevention a priority in the developing world.
The new global statistics from hundreds of cancer registries worldwide found there were about 2 million new cases of breast and cervical cancer in 2010, and 625,000 deaths. The analysis, by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, Seattle, highlighted a sharp rise in breast and cervical cancer among younger women in developing countries. Worldwide figures on breast cancer show cases are rising every year at a rate of about 3%, while death rates are also rising - at about 2% a year.
According to experts, this is driven partly by the ageing population and partly by a host of other factors, including diet, obesity, genetics, economics and the availability of national screening programmes.