Cancer deaths surpassed 10 million mark in 2019 globally

A staggering 10 million people lost their lives to cancer in 2019 – a new study has shown.

According to the new scientific study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine, there were 23 million new cases of cancer in 2019 – a jump of 26.3 % when compared to 2010 figures during which 18.7 million new cases were registered.

According to researchers, cancer was second behind only cardiovascular diseases in the number of deaths. The top cancer deaths were because of tracheal, bronchus, and lung (TBL) cancer followed by colon and rectum cancer; stomach cancer; breast cancer; and liver cancer.

Some additional findings from the study:

  • Breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among females worldwide, including for 119 countries.
  • On a global scale, 96.9% of cancer-related DALYs, which is the sum of YLLs and years lived with disability, can be attributed to YLLs or premature death.
  • Of the 22 groups of diseases and injuries in the GBD study, total cancer is the leading cause of DALYs for the high SDI quintile and among the top five causes of DALYs for three of the remaining four SDI quintiles.

While the global trend for age-standardized mortality and incidence rates is encouraging, the reduction in rates appears to be driven by higher SDI locations. For mortality, age-standardized rates decreased in the middle, middle-high, and high quintiles and increased in the low and low-middle quintiles. Similarly, for incidence, the age-standardized rates decreased in the high-middle and high quintiles—with the largest decrease in the high SDI quintile—while increasing in the low, low-middle, and middle SDI quintiles.

The authors also analyzed cancer burden based on Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite measure of income per capita, average years of education, and total fertility rate for people younger than 25 years of age. The effects of the pandemic on cancer morbidity, mortality, and prevention and control efforts were not accounted for in this GBD study, which analyzed global cancer burden through 2019.

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