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Cancer Cases Cost $300 Billion in 2010, Economist Says

Newly diagnosed cancer cases cost the global economy $300 billion in 2010, as illnesses once believed to be largely confined to wealthier countries took hold in developing nations, a Harvard University economist said.

Tobacco use, alcohol intake, obesity and decreased physical activity have grown in poorer countries, causing the rise of cancer and diabetes, said David E. Bloom, professor of economics and demography at Harvard’s School of Public Health in Boston. Bloom and other researchers held a briefing today in advance of the United Nations High Level Meeting on noncommunicable diseases.