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World Health Organisation calls for Governmental restrictions on alcohol and sugar
World Health Organisation (WHO) scientists have revealed that the world is facing a "tidal wave" of cancer, and that Governments need to consider restrictions on alcohol and sugar.
With 14 million people a year diagnosed with cancer, the WHO predict that the number of cancer cases will increase to 19 million by 2025, 22 million by 2030 and 24 million by 2035.
However, the WHO believe that as many as a half cases can be prevented if Governments focus on cancer prevention by tackling smoking, obesity and drinking.
Chris Wild, the director of the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer, told the BBC "the global cancer burden is increasing and quite markedly, due predominately to the ageing of the populations and population growth.
"If we look at the cost of treatment of cancers, it is spiralling out of control, even for the high-income countries. Prevention is absolutely critical and it's been somewhat neglected."
The WHO's World Cancer Report 2014 said the major sources of preventable cancer included:
• Obesity and inactivity
• Radiation, both from the sun and medical scans
• Air pollution and other environmental factors
• Delayed parenthood, having fewer children and not breastfeeding
One of the report's editors, Dr Bernard Stewart from the University of New South Wales, said prevention had a "crucial role in combating the tidal wave of cancer which we see coming across the world."
Dr Stewart said human behaviour was behind many cancers such as the melanoma resulting from people sunbathing "until you're cooked evenly on both sides" as people had done in past generations.
Highlighting that it was not the role of the International Agency for Research on Cancer to dictate what should be done, Dr Stewart added "in relation to alcohol, for example, we're all aware of the acute effects, whether it's car accidents or assaults, but there's a burden of disease that's not talked about because it's simply not recognised, specifically involving cancer.
"The extent to which we modify the availability of alcohol, the labelling of alcohol, the promotion of alcohol and the price of alcohol - those things should be on the agenda."
Dr Stewart said there was a similar argument to be had with sugar fuelling obesity, which in turn affected cancer risk.
Dr Jean King, Cancer Research UK's Director of Tobacco Control concluded "the most shocking thing about this report's prediction that 14 million cancer cases a year will rise to 22 million globally in the next 20 years is that up to half of all cases could be prevented.
"People can cut their risk of cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices, but it's important to remember that the government and society are also responsible for creating an environment that supports healthy lifestyles.
"It's clear that if we don't act now to curb the number of people getting cancer, we will be at the heart of a global crisis in cancer care within the next two decades."
2nd September 2011 - GLOBAL GOVERNMENTS MUST 'GET TOUGH ON OBESITY'
13th July 2010 - HEALTH CHARITY ADDS PRESSURE TO ALCOHOL AND SPORT SPONSORSHIP DEBATE
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