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4 February 2021

World Cancer Day: Breast cancer overtakes lung cancer as leading cause of cancer worldwide. IARC showcases key research projects to address breast cancer

To mark World Cancer Day 2021 and to stress the importance of action on breast cancer, which has become the most common cause of cancer death in women and the fifth most common cause of cancer death overall, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is highlighting two of its key research projects with new videos featuring IARC postdoctoral scientists.

In the videos, the scientists describe the study design and findings of two IARC research projects related to breast cancer. The African Breast Cancer – Disparities in Outcomes (ABC-DO) study is investigating breast cancer survival in low- and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) is studying the benefits of proper nutrition and physical activity in reducing cancer risk. These studies provide evidence for reducing the risk of developing breast cancer and improving survival of women with breast cancer.

According to recent global cancer estimates from IARC, the global cancer burden increased to 19.3 million new cases and 10.0 million deaths in 2020. Worldwide, one in 5 people develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in 8 men and one in 11 women die from the disease.

Among the most striking developments revealed by the new IARC estimates is that female breast cancer has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer type in the world, with 2.3 million cases diagnosed in 2020, exceeding the number of new cases of lung cancer for the first time. Breast cancer now accounts for 11.7% of all new cancer cases in both sexes.

Read IARC Press Release 294

Read more about breast cancer and the ABC-DO study

Read more about physical activity, nutrition, and the EPIC study 

View infographics

Publication status

Published in section: IARC News

Publication date: 4 February, 2021, 0:40

Direct link: https://iarc.who.int/news-events/world-cancer-day-2021/

© Copyright International Agency on Research for Cancer 2021
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