Cancer rates worldwide are expected to increase by 50 percent to 15 million new cases over the next 20 years, according to the newly released World Cancer Report, published by the World Health Organization (WHO). Part of the reason for this huge projected increase is the speed at which poor countries are adopting unhealthy Western lifestyle habits, particularly when it comes to overeating and underexercising.
The World Cancer Report, the first comprehensive assessment of global cancer statistics, estimates that one-third of these future cases may be preventable. “We have the opportunity to stem this increase,” says Dr. Paul Kleihues, director of WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer and coeditor of the report.
The WHO report makes the following recommendations for stemming the increase in cancer rates:
- Reduce tobacco consumption.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle and diet by frequently consuming fruits and vegetables and increasing activity levels.
- Take advantage of early-detection cancer-screening tools such as mammograms and PAP smears.