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Sunday, 24 June, 2001, 23:11 GMT 00:11 UK
Vision of cancer's future
Advancing technologies have cut cancer deaths
Cancer experts have predicted which cancers will be the biggest killers in the year 2020.

The Cancer Research Campaign says that technological advances will drive down the number of cancer deaths in the developed world.

However, it says that smoking-related cancers will continue to soar in the developing world as tobacco companies target these markets.

Cancer league table 2020 - developed world
1: Prostate
2: Breast
3: Bowel
4: Lung
5: Stomach
The campaign also says that the spread of other undesirable "Western" habits, such as junk food and lack of exercise will help increase the number of bowel, breast and oesophageal cancers.

Professor Gordon McVie, the CRC's director general, said: "We believe that over the next 20 years, developed countries like the UK will, through a reduction in smoking rates, improvements in diets and advances in treatment, start to get on top of the cancer problem.

"But the challenge for the developing world is to make sure that it does not make the same mistakes that we have, by becoming ensnared in a cancer-causing lifestyle of fags, booze and junk food."

Liver epidemic

The campaign's experts predict that in 2020, prostate will have overtaken lung cancer as the leading cancer in the developed world.

Cancer league table 2020 - developing world
1: Lung
2: Breast
3: Liver
4: Stomach
5: Oesophagus
In fact, it says, so will breast and bowel cancer, leaving lung only in number four spot.

However, in the developing world, by 2020, lung remains the most common cancer, followed by breast and liver cancers.

The increase in liver cancers may be stemmed by vaccination against hepatitis, one of the principal causes.

In the UK, nine out of 10 people who develop lung cancer die from the disease, and modern treatment techniques have yet to have much impact on this.

The campaign expects that falling tobacco use will halve the number of new cases by 2020.

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