The developing world sees only 5% of the world's spending on cancer treatment, despite accounting for around half of new cases and nearly two-thirds of cancer deaths, according to a report a report published on Monday.
The incidence of cancer, once thought to be a disease of the affluent, is rising in poor countries, and there is an estimated $217 billion shortfall in funding for cancer treatment globally, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The study estimated that the economic burden of new cancer cases would reach $305 billion this year, and that by 2020 there would be 16.8 million new cancer cases a year worldwide, compared to 12.9 million now.
The report was released by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, set up by the 7-time winner of the Tour de France after his own battle with testicular cancer.
Speaking at a global cancer conference organised by the foundation in Dublin, Irish Health Minister Mary Harney said she would seek a total ban on sunbeds to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
"Clearly, any decisions we make here will have to get EU approval," she said. "It may well be that, in the interests of public health, such approval could be forthcoming." – (Reuters Health, August 2009)