What is the doubling time of cancer

World Cancer Report: WHO fears cancer doubling

According to a forecast by the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of cancer cases worldwide will almost double by 2040. This emerges from the World Cancer Report, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) publishes every five years. In 2018, 18.1 million people worldwide were newly diagnosed with cancer, 9.6 million people died from it. In the year 2040, around 29 to 37 million people are likely to develop cancer, announced the IARC, which is part of the WHO, on World Cancer Day.

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Michael Baumann, the head of the German Cancer Research Center, is also assuming this development. Reasons are the growing and aging world population, but also factors that affect lifestyle, said Baumann. For Germany, an increase in the number of new cases each year is expected from the current 500,000 to around 600,000 in the future.

Baumann called on people to adopt a more health-conscious way of life. "As far as we know today, if you adhere to all that we currently know, you could actually prevent 40 percent of cancers through primary prevention." Baumann mentioned points about which many people were informed, but which were still not implemented: no smoking, avoiding obesity, physical activity, healthy diet, little or no alcohol. Prevention also includes all vaccinations and precautionary measures that are recommended against cancer.

Almost every second German gets cancer

In Germany, 65 percent of all people suffering from cancer currently survived for at least five years. In an international comparison, Germany is way ahead. But that also means that 35 percent of all Germans who develop cancer do not survive five years. According to the Robert Koch Institute, almost every second person in Germany suffers from cancer: the lifetime risk for women is 42.6 percent and for men 47.5 percent.

Surviving cancer is also a matter of prosperity, said the IARC. Both those affected in poorer countries and poorer sections of the population in rich countries would have less chance of survival. The probability of dying from cancer fell by 20 percent in high-income countries between 2000 and 2015, and by only 5 percent in low-income countries.