Cancer Atlas Highlights Obesity Epidemic

By Petrina Smith
Friday, 05 December, 2014

The launch of the American Cancer Society's Cancer Atlas highlights the soaring rates of obesity will be a major contributor to the expected 50 per cent increase in cancer cases to 21.7 million by 2030.
At the launch at the World Cancer Congress today Cancer Council Australia CEO Professor Ian Olver, said the Atlas demonstrates how Australia is a world leader in cancer prevention areas such as tobacco control, but is struggling to tackle the growing obesity epidemic.
Worldwide, the number of overweight and obese individuals increased from 857 million in the 1980s to 2.1 billion in 2013.
“Unchecked, obesity will ultimately surpass tobacco as the major cancer killer in Australia,” Professor Olver said.
“There are suggestions that today’s children may be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents, so it’s imperative the Australian Government and governments of other developed nations come together in a sustained and coordinated effort to reign in overweight and obesity.”
Released in partnership with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), The Cancer Atlas, Second Edition, appears for the first time in both book and interactive website formats.
The publication brings together worldwide cancer data and is designed to make it easier for country leaders to understand what they need to do to reduce the global cancer burden.
“We know more about burden of cancer - and how to reduce it -than we do about any other noncommunicable disease,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph. D., CEO, American Cancer Society. “Information is a powerful tool in the hands of passionate, dedicated individuals. However, making sense of the mountains of available data can be a challenge.”
Other findings from The Cancer Atlas include:

  • Smoking causes more than 16 different types of cancer and accounts for 20 percent of all global cancer deaths.

  • Indoor air pollution caused by solid fuel use is estimated to cause about 2.5 million deaths each year in developing countries, or about 4.5 percent of global deaths each year.

  • 129 countries have not yet introduced the HPV vaccine, which may prevent infections and certain types of cancers, nearly triple the number of countries (45) that have introduced the vaccine.

  • There were more than 32 million cancer survivors globally in 2012.

  • By 2025, 19 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in men and women based solely on projected demographic changes.

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