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Global Cancer Cases to Grow by 30 Per Cent


2 September 2009

The number of new cancer cases globally will grow by 30% over the next decade, according to a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). By 2020, the number of cases will reach nearly 17 million, an increase of four million on today’s figures. An aging population and the growing prevalence of the disease in the emerging territories are two of the main drivers for the predicted rise. Cancer is already the world’s second biggest killer, claiming more people every year than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

EIU estimates that, with regard to cancer, the price of medical and non-medical costs and lost productivity will total US$286bn in 2009 (an estimation it describes as “conservative”); despite this, only $19bn will be spent on cancer research. The report speculates how much it would cost to achieve a “global funding expenditure standard”, based on achieving per-case spending around the world . It is estimated that achieving this standard, based on 2009 new cancer cases, would require an additional US$217bn.

Commissioned by LIVESTRONG, an initiative of the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF), the report, Breakaway: The global burden of cancer - challenges and opportunities, is available free of charge at www.eiu.com/LAF

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