The UN body noted on Wednesday, the International Day of Cancer, that while in 2012 14 million people were reported to have the illness – and it killed more people than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria all together, the figure will likely go up to 22 million by 2035.
The developing regions of the world like Africa, Asia and South America are the most affected, according to the WHO.
Cancer already represents one of the main causes of death in the world – over 8 million people died from this disease in 2012, while 14 more million people were diagnosed with cancer then.
According to the WHO report, the first trigger of the disease would be an unhealthy lifestyle, including bad eating habits, lack of exercise, and consumption of tobacco.
As expected, over 60 percent of the new cancers are diagnosed in Africa, Asia, South and Central America, and these regions represent together 70 percent of the deaths by cancer, according to the general director of the International Atomic Energy Agency of the UN, Yukiya Amano. However, those regions also account for a larger proportion of the world’s population.
Addressing the issue includes greater communication about risky behavior and the preventive measures that can be adopted, as an early diagnosis reduces the risk of death, as well as a change of unhealthy lifestyles in over 30 percent of the cases. This shows the importance of good quality health services, and explains the inequalities between the regions of the world.
In the case of Latin America, the increase in detected cancer will be higher than the world average, according to the WHO. Ecuador and Colombia will experience higher rates, with 115 and 114 percent more cases respectively by 2035, as well as higher rates of cancer-related deaths (132 percent more in Ecuador, 131 in Colombia). Uruguay and Argentina will have the lowest increases, at 35 percent for the former, 56 percent for the latter.
Around the world, the organs the most prone to develop deadly tumors are the lungs (1.59 million victims), the liver (745,000), the stomach (723,000), the colon (694,000), and a breast (521,000).