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Cancer trends are of great concern to the public health community. As developing countries become more industrialized, incidence and mortality rates for cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, and prostate begin to rise. Also, smoking is increasing worldwide—along with lung cancer incidence and mortality rates. Liver cancer shows the same trends as lung cancer, but for a different reason. Infection with the hepatitis B or C viruses is a major risk factor for liver cancer. In some countries, where a vaccine for hepatitis B is widely used to vaccinate infants, liver cancer incidence in later life has declined; however, incidence rates in developing countries, where vaccination is not widely available, appear to be increasing. Another virus, the human papillomavirus (HPV), is an important risk factor for cervical cancer. Cervical cancer and HPV are more common in equatorial countries (e.g., in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia) and less common in countries in northern latitudes. Screening and treatment for early stages of cervical cancer have made significant inroads for reducing the incidence and mortality of this disease.
HOWARD L. PARNES
(SEE ALSO: Breast Cancer; Carcinogen; Cervical Cancer; Colorectal Cancer; Environmental Determinants of Health; Environmental Tobacco Smoke; Genetics and Health; Geography of Disease; Geriatrics; Incidence and Prevalence; Lung Cancer; Melanoma; Mortality Rates; Nutrition; Occupational Safety and Health; Oral Cancer; Ovarian Cancer; Prevention; Preventive Health Behavior; Prostate Cancer; Screening; Skin Cancer)
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Author Info: HOWARD L. PARNES, DARRELL ANDERSON, The Gale Group Inc., Macmillan Reference USA, New York, Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health, 2002This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your healthcare provider. Please consult a healthcare professional with any health concerns you may have.
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