Pancreatic and Colorectal Cancer Cases See Sharp Increase

October 28, 2019

The worldwide incidence, and death toll, of colorectal and pancreatic cancers have sharply increased since 1990, according to the results of a new study.

The worldwide incidence, and death toll, of colorectal and pancreatic cancers have sharply increased since 1990, according to the results of a new study.

The Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) found that treatments have improved survival rates, as they reported at the annual United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG) 2019 meeting. 

The death rate for pancreatic cancer and the incidence rate for colorectal cancer, have each increased by 10% between 1990 and 2017, according to global data. 

“This analysis provides the most comprehensive picture of the global burden of digestive disease to date,” said Herbert Tilg, chair of the UEG’s scientific committee. 

The number of pancreatic cancer cases increase by a raw 130%, from 195,000 cases in 1990 to 448,000 cases in 2017. But after adjusting for population changes and other factors, incidence increased by 10% and death by 12% over that same period, according to the authors. The highest rates were found mostly in high-income countries. Tobacco smoking and dietary risks play a major part in the increase. 

“Major risk factors for the disease, such as smoking, diabetes and obesity, are largely modifiable and present a huge opportunity for prevention,” said Reza Malekzadeh, the lead author of the pancreatic study, from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran. 

Colorectal cancer shows an age-standardized incidence rate increase of 9.5% over the period of the study-but over that same time, the age-standardized death rate decreased by 13.5%. Exports said that screening programs for that form of the disease have increased chances of survival over 27 years. But colorectal cancer still killed 896,000 people in 2017 alone, the data showed.

“Clearly, colorectal cancer remains a substantial public health challenges across the globe,” they write. “The results of GBD 2017 can be valuable for policy makers to implement cost-effective interventions and address modifiable risk factors and for researchers to design and carry out further research on proper modalities for prevention, early detection, and treatment of colorectal cancer.” 

Much of the incidence may be tied to risk factors like smoking and diet for pancreatic cancer, according to the authors of both studies. 

 

In further GBD studies also published in the same issue of the journal and presented at UEG Week, teams of investigators found that stomach cancer incidence and death is generally decreasing globally, and inflammatory bowel disease “increased substantially in many regions” over the same study period. 

References:

GBD 2017 Colorectal Cancer Collaborators. The global, regional, and national burden of colorectal cancer and its attributable risk factors in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Published Online October 21, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/ S2468-1253(19)30345-0

GBD 2017 Pancreatic Cancer Collaborators. The global, regional, and national burden of pancreatic cancer and its attributable risk factors in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Published Online October 21, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/ S2468-1253(19)30347-4
GBD 2017 Stomach Cancer Collaborators. The global, regional, and national burden of stomach cancer in 195 countries, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Published Online October 21, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/ S2468-1253(19)30357-7
GBD 2017 Inflammatory Bowel Disease Collaborators. The global, regional, and national burden of inflammatory bowel disease in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Published Online October 21, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/ S2468-1253(19)30333-4