A Booming Economy Means More Colon Cancer, Study Shows

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The above image illustrates global incidence of colon cancer in men in 2012 according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Most would agree that economic development and prosperity are a good thing. However, when it comes to the risk of developing colon cancer, authors of a new study found that a flourishing economy may not be so great.

The authors of the study, which was published in Gut, sought to describe the recent colon cancer incidence and mortality patterns and trends worldwide, and use the findings to improve the prospects of reducing the global cancer burden through prevention and care. The research produced interesting results.

Study authors found that as a country's level of economic and human development increases, colon cancer incidence and mortality rise as well. Colon cancer rates vary up to 10-fold worldwide with distinct patterns across development levels, pointing toward an increasing burden among countries in transition from one level to another.

The global burden of colon cancer is expected to increase by 60% to more than 2.2 million new cases and 1.1 million deaths by 2030. The study revealed that there is a widening disparity in the geographic variation of colon cancer rates.

The research team analyzed colon cancer incidence and mortality rates across the Human Development Index (HDI) in 184 countries, and found that the higher the HDI, the higher the rates of colon cancer. On average, countries with a very high HDI had colon cancer levels six times higher than countries with a low HDI.

Even more troublesome, colon cancer rates appear to be to be on the rise in low and middle-income countries as their economies develop. These countries may lack access to the advanced cancer screening tools and treatment methods available in well-developed, higher-income countries.

Other News From Around the Web

  • Here's a great article in the New York Times about the need to educate people on the importance of colon cancer screening.
  • A new study suggests that coffee consumption may lead to a 26% drop in colon cancer risk.
  • When 41-year-old Anita Mitchell came out on top of her battle with Stage IV colon cancer, she took it upon herself to spread awareness and encourage people to Dress in Blue for colon cancer.

Image Source: CNN

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Topics: Colon Cancer News