01.05.2012Cancer is a general term that is used to describe a group of more than 200 diseases, which can affect any part of the body. It is a major public health problem, with significant associated death and disability. It is the second leading cause of death in developed countries and is one of the three leading causes of death for adults in developing countries. Globally, cancer accounts for one in eight deaths overall - more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.1 A substantial number of sufferers experience a significant reduction in their quality of life due to physical pain, mental anguish and economic hardship.
Although there has been a decline in cancer incidence and mortality rates in many parts of the developed world, rapid growth in the global cancer burden is being fuelled by a continued rise in economically developing countries.1
Worldwide, the number of new cancer cases per year is expected to top 21.4 million and the number of deaths could grow to as many as 13.2 million by 2030.2 At least 63% of these deaths will be in economically developing countries, where survival rates (20-30%) are often less than half those in the USA and other developed nations (more than 60%).1,2