A new global analysis has found an increase in the number of cases and deaths from breast and cervical cancer, especially in the developing countries where more young women are dying early.
Breast cancer cases more than doubled around the world in just three decades, from 641,000 cases in 1980 to 1.6 million cases in 2010, a pace that far exceeds global population growth, according to the study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.
During that same period, deaths from breast cancer rose from 250,000 to 425,000 in 2010.
Cervical cancer cases grew from 378,000 cases in 1980 to 454,000 in 2010. Cervical cancer deaths grew to 200,000 over the same period, nearly the same pace as cases.
The cases and deaths are more in developing countries as women in high-income countries benefit from medical advances.
"Women in high-income countries like the United States and the United Kingdom are benefiting from early cancer screenings, drug therapies, and vaccines," said Dr. Rafael Lozano, Professor of Global Health at IHME and one of the paper's co-authors.
"We are seeing the burden of breast and cervical cancer shifting to low-income countries in Africa and Asia. This is one of the early signs of the emerging threat of non-communicable diseases in these countries. Everyone has been talking about that threat. Now the trend is clear," he stated.
By 2010, the share of breast cancer cases in the developed world shrank to less than half, with the majority of cases now found in developing countries.
Some developing countries saw a rise in breast cancer cases of more than 7.5percent annually, more than twice the global rate.
Overall, 76percent of new cervical cancer cases occur in developing regions.
Sub-Saharan Africa alone makes up 22 percent of all cervical cancer cases, or more than 76,000 in 2010.
The new study has been published in The Lancet.