Cancer could claim 13.3 million lives a year by 2030, the World Health Organisation's cancer research agency said on Tuesday, almost double the 7.6 million deaths from the illness in 2008.
A new calculation tool by the International Agency for Research on Cancer forecast that in 2030, new cases of cancer would soar to 21.3 million, and that 13.3 million people would die from the disease.
Freddie Bray, a scientist in charge of the study on 27 types of cancer, said that in 2008, 56 percent of the 12.7 million new cancer cases and 63 percent of 7.6 million cancer deaths occurred in developing countries.
The latest data indicated that lung cancer was the most common type of cancer, while breast and colorectal cancer were the next most common forms of the illness in 2008.
The highest numbers of fatal cases were posted by countries with the largest populations, such as China, India and the United States.
In terms of proportion, North America, western Europe and Australia had the highest mortality rates.
Bray said that this stemmed from consumption patterns of rich nations after the second World War, such as tobacco usage.
However, with tobacco consumption now growing in developing countries, mortality rates for lung cancer were also expected to grow in the 21st century, the experts said.