Cancer deaths rose to 10 million globally in 2019, up from 2010 when total cancer deaths numbered 8.29 million worldwide - but the headline masks some important health progress.

Cancer is not going up, despite claims by those who believe modern food, energy, and medicine are harming us. Diagnoses are going up, which means deaths are now more successfully categorized than in the past. And tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer, the leading causes, will decline as the inroads America has made against smoking propagate throughout Europe and developing nations.

Instead of there being more cancer and deaths for the population, age-standardized mortality and incidence rates decreased by 5.9% and 1.1%, respectively. The age-standardized mortality rate decreased in 131 countries and territories and the age-standardized incidence rate lessened in 75 countries and territories. That is a huge public health improvement.

Health care is still a big factor. Poor countries are less likely to have people diagnosed and treated early. The Socio-Demographic Index (SDI), a composite measure of income per capita, average years of education, and total fertility rate for people younger than 25 years of age finds that for mortality, age-standardized rates decreased in the middle, middle-high, and high quintiles and increased in the low and low-middle quintiles.

Similarly, for incidence, the age-standardized rates decreased in the high-middle and high quintiles—with the largest decrease in the high SDI quintile—while increasing in the low, low-middle, and middle SDI quintiles.

The solution to the economic issue is greater opportunities in poor countries. Right now, westerners block scientific progress when it comes to food and energy, all fine for elites who live in natural breadbaskets and own air conditioners, but food and energy are basic needs. When those decline in cost, culture and health improve without fail. We have nearly 2 billion people without centralized energy but western countries like the US refuse to provide loans unless the energy will be solar or wind. The result is that they rely on personal fireplaces and use fuel like dung and wood, which are far worse for emissions than even something like coal. Lack of centralized energy and lobbying against science like pesticides and biofortified foods prevents domestic agriculture.

Some additional findings from the study:

Breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among females worldwide, including for 119 countries.

On a global scale, 96.9% of cancer-related DALYs, which is the sum of YLLs and years lived with disability, can be attributed to YLLs or premature death.

Of the 22 groups of diseases and injuries in the GBD study, total cancer is the leading cause of DALYs for the high SDI quintile and among the top five causes of DALYs for three of the remaining four SDI quintiles.