What's to blame for expected spike in world cancer rate? - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

What's to blame for expected spike in world cancer rate?

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MADISON, Wisconsin (WKOW) -- A report issued Tuesday by the World Health Organization projects a spike in the rate of cancer among the world's population.

The report, which tallies the current rate of cancer at approximately 14-million people diagnosed each years, projects that number to swell to 24-million a year by 2035.

Dr. Sam Lubner, an assistant professor of medicine at the UW-Madison's Carbone Cancer Center, said there are several reasons for the projected spike.

"Cancer death rates in the US, and even in general, are actually trending down," Lubner said. "But there are more people. So some of it is just math."

"Some of it is also the overall burden of cancer relates to both smoking and obesity," Lubner said. "So as our western diet gets exported to other countries, obesity-related cancers become more of a problem."

Dr. Howard Bailey, the Carbone Cancer Center's interim director, said the expected rise in cancer cases can also be attributed to technological advances in the developing.

"Their economies get better, their healthcare gets better... that means many more people, millions and billions more, are going to be living into their 40's, 50's and 60's," Bailey said. "That's when most cancers occur."

But Lubner emphasized cancers traced to obesity and smoking can be prevented. He said exercise, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and avoidance of alcohol and tobacco can all help a person prevent being diagnosed with certain types of cancer.
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