Feb. 2, 2024 – The global cancer burden is projected to surge by 77% to over 35 million new cases in 2050, stemming from population growth, aging, and changing risk factors associated with socioeconomic development. Tobacco, alcohol, and obesity play pivotal roles alongside persistent air pollution. Development Index (HDI) countries anticipate the greatest absolute increase (4.8 million cases), while low HDI nations face a striking 142% rise and medium HDI countries a 99% increase in cancer incidence by 2050. Cancer mortality in low- and medium-HDI countries is expected to nearly double. Urgent global efforts are imperative to address this escalating crisis.

“The impact of this increase will not be felt evenly across countries with different HDI levels. Those who have the fewest resources to manage their cancer burdens will bear the brunt of the global cancer burden,” says Dr Freddie Bray, Head of the Cancer Surveillance Branch at IARC.

“Despite the progress that has been made in the early detection of cancers and the treatment and care of cancer patients, significant disparities in cancer treatment outcomes exist not only between high and low-income regions of the world but also within countries….