Global cancer incidence predicted to increase by 75 per cent by 2030

The number of worldwide Cancer cases is set increase by 75 per cent in the next two decades, according to researchers in France.

The scientists predict cancer cases will increase from 12.7 million in 2008 to 22.2 million by 2030.

The rise will be even greater in the developing world, with cases in the poorest countries projected to increase by more than 90 per cent by 2030.

The findings, published in the Lancet Oncology, suggest that countries must continue to invest in research to prevent deaths from cancer.

Scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon looked at how economic development affects incidence and death rates of different types of cancer.

Some types of cancer, such as cervical cancer and stomach cancer, are declining in more developed parts of the world such as Europe. But the reduction is likely to be offset by a substantial increase in other cancers such as breast, prostate and bowel cancer in these countries.

Jessica Harris, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "These statistics remind us it's more important than ever to invest in ways to reduce the number of people that develop and die of cancer across the world.

"If we're to beat cancer, we need continued research to find ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease. And governments, health organisations and individuals need to work together to put that research into practice - to prevent cancer through promoting healthy lifestyles, and to encourage and enable early diagnosis.

"Cancer Research UK is leading the way in all these areas - and in the UK, the positive side to this story is that, although the number of people with cancer is increasing, survival rates for the disease have doubled over the past 40 years."

Researchers used the Human Development Index (HDI) to measure development levels in different countries.

They found that countries with a low HDI, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, had a higher incidence of cancers associated with infection - such as cervical cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer and Kaposi's sarcoma.

In countries with a higher HDI - such as the UK, Australia, Russia, and Brazil - there were more cases of cancers associated with smoking, including lung cancer, as well as those linked to reproductive risk factors, obesity and diet such as breast, prostate and bowel cancer.

Copyright Press Association 2012


  • Bray, F. et al. (2012). Global cancer transitions according to the Human Development Index (20082030): a population-based study The Lancet Oncology DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70211-5