Low- and middle-income countries have increasing cancer rates

Lindsey Torre, MSPH Epidemiologist, Surveillance Research Surveillance Research group at the American Cancer Society

Lindsey Torre

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lindsey Torre, MSPH 

Epidemiologist, Surveillance Research
Surveillance Research group at the American Cancer Society

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study updates a previous study published in 2010 using the latest available data on cancer incidence and mortality from cancer and vital registration around the world. We found that while high-income countries still have the highest cancer rates in the world, some low- and middle-income countries now also have elevated cancer rates. Also, mortality rates for common cancers such as lung, breast, and colorectum are declining in high-income countries, while they are increasing in low-income countries. At the same time, low-income countries still have a disproportionate burden of infection-related cancers, such as stomach, liver, and cervix.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: A substantial proportion of cancers can be prevented using measures we have readily available, such as not smoking, vaccination (hepatitis B vaccine for liver cancer and human papillomavirus [HPV] vaccine for cervical cancer), early detection, and healthy lifestyles including maintaining a healthy body weight and being physically active.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: This study raises many interesting questions which can be explored further. First, ongoing monitoring of cancer trends around the world, including the addition of new data sources as cancer and vital registration systems are expanded around the world, will provide important information on the progress of global cancer control. It will be especially interesting to monitor patterns of lung cancer to assess the impact of smoking and tobacco control programs. Another interesting question is how cervical cancer, which is largely preventable through vaccination and screening, will be affected by cancer control efforts.


Global Cancer Incidence and Mortality Rates and Trends—An Update

Lindsey A. Torre, Rebecca L. Siegel, Elizabeth M. Ward, and Ahmedin Jemal

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev Published OnlineFirst December 14, 2015;doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0578

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Lindsey Torre, MSPH (2015). Low Income Countries Have Increasing Infection Related Cancers