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Cancer takes growing toll worldwide

A greater percentage of deaths worldwide are now caused by cancer, a new report shows.

Between 1990 and 2013, the proportion of all deaths caused by cancer rose from 12 percent to 15 percent. During that time, years of healthy life lost to cancer increased 29 percent, the report found.

In total, there were 15 million new cases of cancer, 8 million deaths and 196 million years of a healthy life lost in 2013, the researchers said.

Between birth and age 79, one in three men and one in five women developed cancer, the findings showed. The leading cause of cancer death in 2013 was tracheal, bronchus (the main passageway to the lungs) and lung cancer, which caused 1.6 million deaths.

Breast cancer was the leading cause of lost years of healthy life among women, and for men it was lung cancer, according to the study by the Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration group.

The team analyzed data on 28 types of cancer in 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. The study was published online May 28 in the journal JAMA Oncology.

"Population-level observations of cancer burden and time trends as presented herein help highlight aspects of cancer epidemiology that can guide intervention programs and advance research in cancer determinants and outcomes," the researchers wrote.

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