The impact of cancer in Spain seems to find no ceiling. The number of new cases diagnosed in 2019 will reach 277,234, 12% more than in 2015, according to the data collected in the report "Cancer figures in Spain", presented yesterday by the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology. For the first time, lung cancer becomes the third with the highest incidence in females, after breast and colorectal cancers. In this sense, Dr. Ruth Vera, president of SEOM, said that, "despite the significant achievements in recent decades with regard to awareness of the pretumoral effect of snuff, it remains responsible for nearly eight million deaths by cancer in the world ».
In both cases, in addition to the lung, the most frequent will be those of colon and rectum (44,937), prostate (34,394), breast (32,503), and bladder (23,819). In men, the most recurrent will be those of prostate, colon and rectum; in women, breast, colorectal and lung. While the number of cases of lung cancer in women is increasing (like smoking), in men it is reducing evenly to the reduction of habit.
On the contrary, it is worth highlighting the continuous decrease of gastric cancer in Spain in the last decades, fifth in frequency in men, according to Redecan's estimations in 2015. This downward trend is evident in the rest of Western countries, although at a global is still one of the most frequent. This decrease is related to the reduction of the incidence of infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, with dietary modifications or with the decrease in the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.
For Globocan, the number of tumors worldwide continues to grow, having increased from the 14 million cases in the world estimated in 2012 to 18.1 million in 2018. Population estimates indicate that the number of new cases will increase in the next decades, reaching 29.5 million in 2040. Age determines the risk of developing cancer. Thus, the risk increases significantly after 45-50 years. From birth to 80 years, men have a risk of developing cancer of 42.5% and in women by 27.4%. At age 85, these values increase to 50.8% in men and 32.3% in them.
Increase in survival
"We have to start delinking the diagnosis of cancer from a diagnosis of death. Although we see the data of increase of incidence, it would have to be thought of as a disease that is cured, "said Vera. In general, cancer survival in Spain has experienced a strong rise in recent decades. This trend responds to the campaigns of early diagnosis and therapeutic advances. Other changes, such as the increase in lung cancer attributable to contamination, are likely to become more evident in the coming decades, taking into account data from other countries. «We are living an advance in the knowledge of this disease. Knowing why it happens will give us weapons to deal with it better. It will give us technology to diagnose it more precociously. And, when diagnosed, we have more alternatives ».
Despite the mortality figures, the survival of cancer patients in European countries has increased steadily in recent years, especially for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rectal cancer, linked to treatment advances, and for the prostate cancer, related to early diagnosis. In Spain, the survival of patients with cancer is similar to that of the rest of our countries, 53% after five years. According to the data published by the World Health Organization, around one third of cancer deaths are due to preventable causes, such as tobacco, infections and alcohol. "It is important to identify the individual susceptibility to different diseases to predict which patients will relapse and those that will not," Dr. Ruth Vera emphasized.