London, Dec. 12 (Reuters): The global death toll from cancer rose to 8.2 million in 2012 with sharp rises in breast cancer as the disease tightened its grip in developing nations struggling to treat an illness driven by western lifestyles.
Cancer deaths were up 8 per cent from 7.6 million in a previous survey in 2008 and breast cancer killed 522,000 women last year, up 14 per cent in the same period, according to the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
“Breast cancer is also a leading cause of cancer death in the less developed countries of the world,” said David Forman, head of IARC’s Section of Cancer Information, the group that compiles the global cancer data.
He said this was “partly because a shift in lifestyles is causing an increase in incidence, and partly because clinical advances to combat the disease are not reaching women living in these regions”.
An estimated 14.1 million people developed cancer in 2012, up from 12.7 million in 2008. And 1.7 million women were newly diagnosed with breast cancer last year, up by more than 20 percent from 2008.
IARC's report, called GLOBOCAN 2012, gives the most up-to-date estimates for 28 different types of cancer in 184 countries and offers an overview of the global cancer burden.
It found that the most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide in men and women combined were lung, breast and colorectal cancers. The most common causes of cancer death were lung, liver and stomach cancers.