Study: Cancer World's Most Expensive Disease

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Cancer has the highest economic costs of any disease in the world, according to a new report by the American Cancer Society.

Researchers found in 2008, that the economic toll of the disease cost an estimated $900 billion - about 1.5 percent of the world's gross domestic product

"Cancer costs more in productivity and lost life than AIDS, malaria, the flu and other diseases transmitted from person-to-person," the report read.
    
Approximately 12.4 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year. Tobacco use and obesity are two of the leading causes of the disease, according to medical experts.

Rachel Nugent of the Center for Global Development, a policy research group based in Washington, noted that "while cancer heart disease and diabetes account for more than 60 percent of all deaths worldwide, they receive only 3 percent of medical funding."

"The amount is out of whack with the impact it has," American Cancer Society chief medical officer Otis Brawley said.

The cancer society's study focused on disability and loss of life, not the costs involved in treating the disease.

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