ecancermedicalscience

Special Issue

Cancer incidence estimates in adults aged 60 years and older living in low-and-middle-income countries for the years 2020 and 2040

31 Aug 2023
Sophie Pilleron, Freddy Gnangnon, Vanita Noronha, Enrique Soto-Perez-De-Celis

Previous studies have shown a disproportionate rise in cancer incidence in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) due to rapid population ageing. This study aims to describe the cancer incidence in adults aged 60 years and older in LMICs to inform cancer control planning. Using the latest GLOBOCAN estimates for 2020, we describe the cancer incidence and the top five cancer sites among adults aged 60 years and older living in LMICs. We also project the incidence in 2040 by applying population projections, assuming no changes in incidence rates and risk profiles over time. In 2020, 6.3 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in older adults in LMICs, constituting over half of the global incidence burden (55%). In females aged 60 years and older living in LMICs, breast, lung, colon, stomach, and cervix uteri were the most frequent cancer types representing 51% of the total number of new cancer cases in older females. In males aged 60 years and older living in LMICs, lung, prostate, stomach, liver and colon were the most frequent cancer types representing 58% of the total number of new cancer cases in this subgroup. Variations were observed between income categories. The number of new cancer diagnoses in adults aged 60 years and older living in LMICs will almost double by 2040, reaching 11.5 million new cancer cases. The greatest increase is expected to happen in lower-income countries (+158% in lower-middle-income countries (excluding India) and +99% in low-income countries versus +38% in upper-middle-income countries). In conclusion, our findings call for an urgent adaptation of healthcare systems in LMICs by developing geriatric oncology and by including older adults in research, clinical guidelines, insurance schemes and cancer prevention policies.

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