31 Jan Colon Cancer Rising In Transitional Economies
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Melina Arnold
Section of Cancer Surveillance
International Agency for Research on Cancer
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Arnold: In this study, we looked at patterns and time trends in the incidence in and mortality from colorectal cancer on the global scale. In the analyses, we used data from the Globocan database, Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, both hosted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the World Health Organisation mortality database. We documented a ten-fold variation in colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates worldwide. We also found distinct gradients across human development levels, meaning that changes in patterns and trends of this cancer could be linked to economic development and that the adoption of a Western lifestyle may have a role. While incidence and mortality rates are on the increase in many countries in socioeconomic transition, stabilizing or decreasing trends are seen in highly-developed countries where rates remain among the highest in the world. These observations point to widening disparities and an increasing burden in transitioning countries.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Arnold: The main conclusion of our study relates to the increasing burden of colorectal cancer in transitioning countries. While in 2012, there were an estimated 1.4 million new colorectal cancer cases and almost 700,000 associated deaths worldwide, by 2030 the numbers of new cases are expected to increase to 2.2 million, with 1.1 million associated deaths. This underlines the need for targeted resource-dependent interventions in order to reduce the rising number of colorectal patients predicted in future decades. Therefore, improvements in treatment options and accessibility are vital, particularly in low and middle income countries that face an increasing burden of colorectal cancer. Also, primary prevention and early detection need to be prioritized, alongside their integration into existing health care plans.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Arnold: In our analyses, we have not included a separate assessment of colon and rectal cancer, nor did we examine variations in distal (left-sided) cancers of the rectosigmoid junction and proximal (right-sided) cancers of the descending and sigmoid colon, despite many studies reporting a rising proportion of the latter tumors. The inclusion of birth cohort analyses would also have led to a more robust assessment of the recent direction of trends enabling the generation of hypotheses linked to the changing prevalence of causative factors in successive cohorts and the impact of early-stage factors and early-in-life experiences. Their further study will increase our understanding of the etiology of this cancer.
Dr. Melina Arnold (2016). Colon Cancer Rising In Transitional Economies