Doctors at the Indian Cancer Congress have predicted that cancer is set to take over as the number one killer disease globally by 2025.
Jitendra Kumar Singh, Secretary of the Indian Cancer Society, told the gathering in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, that cancer would knock heart disease from the top spot soon.
"By 2025, cancer will be the number one killer worldwide. It will take over heart (disease). So, that is the challenge we are facing. But fortunately, more and more centres are coming up," Singh said.
Most cancers are curable, but their detection at a later stage makes the treatment tough and costly.
Cancer has the possibility of rising in developing countries at a faster pace.
The problem is compounded by the fact that most developing nations do not possess required infrastructure for proper treatment, which is the most pressing challenge for countries like India, the doctors said.
"There will be an enormous increase in the cancer level in developing countries. It will be higher than the developed countries. So the kind of prevention measures are of challenges and also how to treat these patients with cancer with up-to-date treatments will be a challenge," said Derek Schrivers, a Belgian oncologist.
Concerns were also raised over the consumption of tobacco, which is also a huge factor in the rise in cancer deaths, as it contributes to 40 percent of the overall deaths.
The Cancer Congress, which began on February 11, will conclude on Sunday.