Cancer Here Cancer There

The World Health Organization projects that there will be 19.3 million cases of cancer by 2025 as the world’s population both ages and grows. In 2012 the global toll of cancer deaths rose to 8.2 million, with breast cancer accounting for 522,000 deaths. Breast cancer is also a leading cause of cancer death in the developing world, partly because of a shift in lifestyle and partly because the clinical advances fighting the disease are not reaching women living in those countries. The most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide were lung, breast and colorectal, but the most common cause of cancer deaths were lung, liver and stomach cancers. Death rates are much higher in the developing countries, usually because disease is not diagnosed and treated early enough due to the lack of screening and access to treatment. We know there is a difference between the health care of developed countries and that of those in the developing world. We know that without proper health care, some die. And when the world’s inequities are seen in terms of life and death, that’s really pause for thought.