'Cancer Atlases' provide global snapshot

In collaboration with the Press Association

Two new reference guides published this week provide detailed information about current cancer trends and smoking rates around the globe.

The publications are a joint development by the International Union Against Cancer, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Cancer Society.

One provides facts and figures on the incidence of cancer around the globe while the other details the effects of tobacco on global health.

Among the more eye-catching findings is the estimate that tobacco killed around one hundred million people in the 20th century, and if smoking trends continue, will kill around a billion more over the course of the 21st century.

Tobacco use currently kills around five million people every year, with campaigners saying that efforts to curb use are the single most effective way to beat cancer.

Alongside other preventative measures, such as raising awareness of dietary issues, a large number of the approximately 11 million new cancer diagnoses each year could be avoided.

"We know with cancer, if we take action now, we can save two million lives a year by 2020 and 6.5 million by 2040," said Dr. Judith Mackay of WHO.

Buy the Atlases from the ACS online shop