Cancer is a major condition that has affected all of us in some way, perhaps through friends, family, colleagues or even personally. It has become one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for approximately thirteen percent (13%) of deaths across the world. With the number of cancer cases increasing every year, it is important to understand global cancer statistics such as survival rates and treatment costs in case you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer.
New Cancer Cases
Every year more and more cancer cases are diagnosed around the world. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), there were over 14 million new cases of cancer worldwide in 2012 – a number expected to grow to nearly 22 million by 2030 due to aging, new population growth, and increased adoption of cancer-causing behaviors such as smoking.
Cancer Survival Rates
Fortunately, while the number of new cancer cases continues to increase, so have survival rates. In a study conducted by CONCORD (the global program for worldwide surveillance of cancer survival), survival rates have improved among patients diagnosed with 18 common types of cancer in 71 countries. However, depending on where you live, those number may be less optimistic. According to the international research organization, Globocan, countries like Ecuador have significantly lower survival rates than more economically developed countries. For example, in Ecuador, the five-year survival rate of children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia is just under fifty percent (50%), compared to over ninety-five percent (95%) in Finland. Such disparity is due to the availability of better treatments, and screening processes, as well as less prevalent risk factors in economically developed countries. Another contributing factor to this disparity might be available data in less developed countries where post-treatment survival statistics might be unattainable.
Global Cost of Cancer
Fighting cancer can become a costly battle. It can drain your health, time, emotions, and often your finances. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the direct medical cost of cancer was nearly $81 billion in 2015 in the U.S. alone. Approximately fifty-two percent (52%) of these expenditures are attributed to outpatients or doctor visits, while thirty-eight percent (38%) account for inpatient hospital stays. However, financial costs aren’t the only cancer-related expenses. In addition to healthcare, cancer might cause indirect costs such as loss of economic output due to missed work and, loss of family time due to treatment and cancer treatment side effects.