Longer life spans and changing diet and lifestyles are among the factors that could lead to a dramatic increase in cancer cases in Asia by 2020, experts attending a conference in Singapore warn.
If current trends continue, the total number of new cancer cases in Asia could climb from 4.5 million in 2002 to 7.1 million in 2020, the Associated Press reported.
That increase could cause a major health crisis as poorer Asian countries struggle to pay the cost of cancer screening, vaccines and treatment, the experts said.
"This will put a tremendous burden on patients, their families and the health-care system in each country," said Singapore Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, the AP reported.
Smoking – a major threat
Smoking is a major cancer threat. In a number of Asian nations, more than 60 percent of males smoke, said Dr Donald Max Parkin, a research fellow at the University of Oxford's Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit.
In many Asian nations, large numbers of people have moved from rural areas to the cities. That switch has led to more sedentary lifestyles, increased consumption of meat and fried foods, and fewer vegetables in the diet. – (HealthDayNews)
Cancer flood on the way