More than 12 million new cases of cancer will have been diagnosed around the world in 2007 and 20,000 people a day, or 7.6 million people, will have died from the disease, a new study said Monday.

The projections are contained in the first ever report by the American Cancer Society, and are based on cancer and mortality rates in the Globocan 2002 database compiled by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

According to Monday's report "Global Cancer Facts and Figures," some 5.4 million cancer cases and 2.9 million deaths will occur in industrialized countries.

Here the most common kind of cancers are prostate, lung and colon cancer among men, and breast cancer and lung and colon cancer among women.

Some 6.7 million cancer cases and 4.7 million deaths will take place in developing nations, with lung, stomach and liver cancer being most prevalent in men, and women suffering most from breast, uterine and stomach cancer.

"The burden of cancer is increasing in developing countries as deaths from infectious diseases and childhood mortality decline and more people live to older ages when cancer most frequently occurs," said Ahmedin Jemal, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society and co-author of the report.

About 15 percent of all cancers are linked to infections, such as stomach, liver and uterine cancers.

But in developing nations three times more cancer cases are linked to infections than in industrialized countries, some 26 percent compared with eight percent.

"This cancer burden is also increasing as people in the developing countries adopt western lifestyles such as cigarette smoking, higher consumption of saturated fat and calorie-dense foods, and reduced physical activity," said Jemal.

The report also contains a special focus on smoking called "The Tobacco Epidemic" which predicts that more than a billion people will die from smoking-related diseases in the 21st century -- most in developing countries.

This compares to about 100 million deaths from smoking around the world in the 20th century.

About five million people died around the world from tobacco use in 2000, of which 30 percent 1.42 million contracted cancer, of whom 850,000 had lung cancer, the report said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 84 percent of the world's 1.3 billion smokers live in developing nations.

In China alone, the WHO estimates that there are more than 350 million smokers, more than the entire population of the United States.

If the trend continues, there will be about two billion smokers around the world by 2030 of which half will die from smoking-related illnesses if they don't quit.

WASHINGTON, Dec 17, 2007 (AFP)


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