Search This Blog


Cancer: #1 Global Killer


Cancer's Massive Economic Burden Reaches Nearly $3 Trillion A Year Globally

17 Aug 2010

Cancer's economic impact is greater than any other cause of death worldwide, according to a study carried out by The American Cancer Society and LIVESTRONG®. The study reveals that cancer costs the world economy nearly US$3 trillion every year. The joint study also looked into the economic burdens of other non-communicable and communicable diseases.

Cancer is now the world's leading cause of death, followed by heart disease and then stroke, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

The report, written by American Cancer Society researchers Rijo M. John, Ph.D., director of international tobacco control research, and Hana Ross, Ph.D., strategic director of international tobacco control research, reveals that cancer has the largest economic impact from premature death and disability when compared to all global causes of death.

In a press release, the American Cancer Society writes:

The data from this study provides compelling new evidence that balancing the world's global health agenda to address cancer will not only save millions of lives, but also billions of dollars.

The report revealed that:

· Cancer accounted for close to one trillion dollars in economic losses from premature death and disability in 2009.

· The economic burden from cancer, at $895 billion, is nearly 20% more than heart disease's toll ($753 billion).

· These figures do not include direct medical costs, which might double the amounts.

· The loss of working man-hours and life caused by cancer represents the single largest drain on nations' economies, compared to all other causes of death, including HIV/AIDS, heart disease, and infections, etc.

John R. Seffrin, PhD, CEO of the American Cancer Society, said:

Cancer's human toll, in terms of suffering and death, is tragic and largely preventable. We now know that without immediate intervention, the burden of cancer will grow enormously in low- and middle income countries, with demands on health care systems and economic costs that are more than these developing economies can bear.

Researchers gathered data from WHO that combine the death and disability dimensions of illnesses into a single summary, known as DALY - Disability-Adjusted Life Year - for 17 different types of cancer, and 15 foremost causes of death.

Death and disability is responsible for the loss of 85 million years of "healthy life", the study reports. To reduce this death toll by one DALY, WHO recommends investing as much as three times per capita Gross Domestic Product to make an intervention cost-effective.

The cancers which account for the largest costs on a global scale, and the greatest burden in developed nations are:

· Lung cancer

· Colon/rectal cancer

· Breast cancer

In low-income countries, the cancers with the greatest impact are:

· Cancers of the mouth and oropharynx

· Cancer of the cervix

· Breast cancer

The American Cancer Society says that available interventions to prevent, detect and/or treat these types of cancers can save lives as well improving the economic development prospects for many countries.

Cancers of the bronchus, lung and trachea cost the global economy nearly $180 billion annually.

It is estimated that 8 million people will die prematurely because of tobacco smoking by 2030,
with four-fifths of these deaths occurring in low- to middle-income countries
- approximately 30% of those deaths will be from cancer. It is estimated that passive smoking (second hand smoke) in the workplace kills about 200,000 people annually.

Non-communicable diseases account for 60% of the world's deaths, yet according to the Center for Global Development, they receive less than 1% of the public and private funding for health
. A non-communicable disease is one that is not transmitted from one infected person/animal to another. Cancer is a non-communicable disease, while flu is a communicable disease.

Source: The American Cancer Society

Written by Christian Nordqvist
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

Article URL:

Main News Category: Cancer / Oncology

Also Appears In: Public Health,


Cross Specialty Credibility

Short Video Clips:
4 Doctors: Drs. Garcia, Ray, DuBois and Sears
Richard E. DuBois, M.D.: Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Atlanta, Georgia
Titus Duncan, M.D.: Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery, Atlanta, Georgia
Michael Ewald D.C.: Family Medicine, Springfield, Ohio
Marla Friedman, Ph.D.: Psychology and Nutrition, Glen Cove, New York
Delia Garcia, M.D.: Radiation Oncology, St. Louis, Missouri
Doug Odom, M.D.: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jackson, Mississippi
Mitra Ray, Ph.D.: Research Biologist, Bellevue, Washington
Jan Roberto M.D.: Family Medicine, Springfield, Ohio
Tamara Sachs, M.D.: Internal Medicine, Washington, Connecticut
William Sears, M.D.: Pediatrics, San Clemente , California
Susan Silberstein, Ph.D.: Exec. Director, Center for Advancement in Cancer Education
Paul Stricker, M.D.: Pediatric and Sports Medicine, San Diego, California
Gerald Tulzer, M.D.: Pediatric Cardiology, Linz, Austria
Rick Wilson, M.D.: Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Plano, Texas