Premature deaths from cancer undermine BRICS productivity, WHO warns

BRICS countries, which account for more than 40% of the world’s population and 25% of the wealth produced, accumulate 42% of cancer-related deaths.

Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, the major emerging economies are known as BRICS, lost $ 46.2 billion in 2012 in productivity because of premature deaths related to tumors, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer ).

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“Studying the economic impact of cancer in emerging economies leads us to think about the importance of stopping preventable cancers in these countries. It’s not just about the high human cost but also about its impact on the economy, “said lead author Alison Pearce.

BRICS countries, which account for more than 40% of the world’s population and 25% of the wealth produced, accumulate 42% of cancer-related deaths.

IARC, based in Lyon, South East France, calls on these countries to promote “lifestyle changes” – avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, drinking alcohol and smoking – to prevent these diseases.

The agency also calls for more health policies to be implemented and cites as an example the vaccination against hepatitis B virus to prevent liver cancer, especially in China, or directed against human papillomavirus (HPV) to prevent cancer of the cervix.

By country, the IARC warns of the rapid “growth of obesity rates” in Brazil as a risk factor, in the same way as tobacco.

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“Despite successful tobacco control policies, as implemented in Brazil, this substance remains a significant increase in risk” in both Brazil and South Africa said the study.

In India, chewing tobacco is “one of the major factors” associated with premature mortality related to lip and oral cavity cancers.

China, the most populated BRICS, is the country with the highest productivity losses, US $ 28 billion, due to cancerous tumors such as liver cancer, while in Russia, head and neck cancers appear to be related to high alcohol intake.