Report: Cancer is the World's Costliest Disease

Cancer is the world’s top “economic killer” as well as its likely leading cause of death, the American Cancer Society contends in a new report it will present at a global cancer conference in China this week.

Cancer costs more in productivity and lost life than AIDS, malaria, the flu and other diseases that spread person-to-person, the report concludes.

Chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes account for more than 60 percent of deaths worldwide but less than 3 percent of public and private funding for global health, said Rachel Nugent of the Center for Global Development, a Washington-based policy research group.
Money shouldn’t be taken away from fighting diseases that spread person-to-person, but the amount devoted to cancer is way out of whack with the impact it has, said Otis Brawley, the cancer society’s chief medical officer.

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