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WHO: Cancer Cases Will Rise by 57 Percent Over Next 20 Years

By Morgan Chilson   |   Tuesday, 04 Feb 2014 03:56 PM

Cancer cases worldwide will rise by 57 percent in the next 20 years, the World Health Organization said, urging renewed efforts to prevent and detect the disease.

Cancer cases are expected to rise from 14 million a year in 2012 to 22 million annually by 2032, according to the World Cancer Report. The WHO released the report for World Cancer Day on Tuesday. The report predicted that cancer deaths will also go up, from 8.2 million each year to 13 million.

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“We cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem,” Christopher Wild, director of WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, told CNN. “More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally.”

CNN said the report highlighted the fact that half of all cancers are preventable, and pointed to the need to address lifestyle issues like smoking, drinking alcohol, and diet and exercise. In addition, screening programs and efforts using vaccines to deal with infection-triggered cancers like cervical and liver cancers are critical.

"The good news is, in (the United States), cancer mortality is trending downward, and that would be more true if you make an age adjustment," Dr. Walter Curran, Emory University's School of Medicine, told CNN.

Health officials hope the report will stimulate the fight against cancer. On its website, the WHO said 60 percent of new cases in the world each year are in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.

Many online did their part to bring attention to fighting cancer by telling their personal stories and some even turned their profiles purple. Chevrolet pledged to give $1 to the American Cancer Society, up to $1 million, for all profiles that are turned purple, NBC said.

Click here for instructions on how to turn your profile on Facebook or Twitter purple for the day.

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