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Cancer to kill 10 mn in 2018 despite better prevention

Cancer will kill nearly 10 million people this year, experts said Wednesday, warning the disease's global burden continues to rise in spite of better prevention and earlier diagnosis.

An estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases were predicted worldwide for 2018 -- with 9.6 million deaths, said a report of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

This is up from estimated 14.1 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million deaths reported in the agency's last assessment just six years ago.

The toll is rising as populations expand and grow older, and people in developing nations adopt unhealthy, high-risk lifestyles traditionally associated with richer economies.

An increased focus on prevention -- encouraging people to get exercise, quit smoking, and eating a healthy diet -- led to a drop in certain types of cancer in some population groups, the IARC said.

Yet the overall number of new cases is racing ahead of efforts to contain the disease.

"These new figures highlight that much remains to be done to address the alarming rise in the cancer burden globally and that prevention has a key role to play," said IARC director Christopher Wild.

One in five men and one in six women will develop cancer during their lifetime, the study said, and the World Health Organization expects the disease to be the leading cause of death in the 21st century.