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Descriptions of diseases provided by Roche

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I read nice descriptions of several diseases. The descriptions below include the frequency of the diseases in population, I will look forward to understanding on how the diseases develop – in the near future.

Copied from Roche annual report (available at

Focus on unmet medical needs

Cancer | According to the latest International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimate, in 2008 over 12 million people worldwide were diagnosed with cancer, and some 7.6 million died of the disease. The IARC anticipates that cancer will surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death worldwide in 2010 and also forecasts that by 2030 there will be over 26 million new cases and 17 million deaths per year from cancer. In Europe alone, one in three people can expect to develop cancer in their lifetime. Cancer is not one disease but a group of more than 100 distinct disorders, each with its own medical challenges.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma | A group of over 30 cancers that affect the lymphatic system. This class of cancer currently affects over 1.5 million people worldwide. Follicular lymphoma accounts for about one in four of all cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It can occur at any time during adulthood, though people are typically diagnosed during their sixties, and it affects as many men as it does women. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia | The most common type of leukemia in adults, accounting for approximately 25–30% of all forms of leukemia. The incidence of CLL in Western countries is around 2–4 per 100,000, and it is twice as common in men as in women. Colorectal cancer | Cancer of the large intestine or rectum, which accounts for over 1 million new cases (around 10% of all newly diagnosed cancers) worldwide each year. It is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in Europe and the third most common worldwide.

Kidney cancer | This type of cancer is newly diagnosed in around 200,000 people and causes 100,000 deaths worldwide every year, rates that are expected to increase. Renal cell carcinoma accounts for 90% of all kidney cancers.

Breast cancer | The most common cancer among women worldwide. Over 1 million women are newly diagnosed and over 500,000 die from the disease each year. As there are several different types of breast cancer, knowledge of tumour characteristics is important for treatment decisions. Some 20–30% of women with breast cancer have tumours with abnormally high levels of a protein known as HER2. HER2-positive tumours are particularly aggressive, fast-growing and likely to relapse. Lung cancer | The most common form of cancer worldwide and the leading cause of cancer deaths. There are an estimated 1.4 million new cases annually. Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common form, accounting for approximately 80% of all cases. Pancreatic cancer | A particularly aggressive disease that is extremely difficult to treat. It kills a higher proportion of patients in the first year after diagnosis than any other cancer. The fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in the developed world, pancreatic cancer claims nearly 80,000 lives every year.

Gastric (stomach) cancer | Accounts for over 1 million new cases and some 800,000 deaths each year, making it the second-largest cause of cancer deaths worldwide. The vast majority of cases occur in Asia, where, with lung cancer, it is the leading malignancy. Advanced stomach cancer is associated with a poor prognosis; the median survival time after diagnosis is approximately 10–11 months with currently available therapies.

Anemia | Occurs when the level of red blood cells and/or the hemoglobin they contain falls below normal, starving organs and tissues of oxygen. It is seen in over 80% of patients with chronic kidney (renal) disease, which affects more than 500 million people worldwide. In addition, anemia affects three out of four cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Patients with untreated anemia may need blood transfusions. The potential long-term effects of anemia include cardiovascular disease in renal patients, while in patients with cancer it is associated with diminished quality of life.

Hepatitis B and C | The hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV, HCV), which are commonly transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, cause acute and chronic liver disease, potentially leading to liver failure, cirrhosis and liver cancer. Worldwide, 350 million people are thought to be chronically infected with HBV, a highly infectious virus that is responsible for an estimated one million deaths annually. More than 170 million people around the world are infected with HCV, and 3 to 4 million new cases occur each year. Hepatitis C is the main reason for liver transplantation. A recent study on the HCV-related burden of disease in 22 European countries estimated that between seven and nine million people, or over 1% of the population, are infected with HCV.

Influenza, or flu | A highly contagious, debilitating viral illness that occurs mainly in the autumn and winter months in temperate climates and year-round in tropical areas. It can be particularly dangerous for young children, the elderly and people with chronic health problems who are at greater risk of influenza-related complications. Pandemics, or global epidemics, are caused by novel strains of influenza to which people have no immunity. Pandemics occur every 10 to 40 years and have been associated with significant levels of illness and, depending on the viral strain, death. According to the World Health Organization, the currently circulating pandemic A (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus appears to be as contagious as seasonal influenza and is spreading fast, particularly among people aged 10 to 45 years. The disease is generally clinically mild, but severe illness can occur.

Autoimmune disorders | Occur as a result of a mistaken immune response to the body’s own tissues. The causes are unknown. Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus erythematosus are among the most common autoimmune disorders, which affect millions of people worldwide.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | A chronic, progressive inflammatory disease of the joints and surrounding tissues that is associated with intense pain, irreversible joint destruction and systemic complications. B cells (a type of immune cell) are known to play a key role in the inflammation associated with RA. Several key cytokines, or proteins, are also involved, including TNF alfa, interleukin-1 (IL-1) and interleukin- 6 (IL-6). IL-6 has been identified as having a pivotal role in the inflammation process. Around 21 million people worldwide are thought to be affected by RA.

Diabetes | Recognised as a global epidemic by the World Health Organization. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that some 360 million people worldwide will have diabetes by 2030. According to the WHO, type 2 (adult onset) diabetes accounts for around 90% of all cases. Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can lead to severe complications such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, blindness, amputations, and kidney failure, resulting in significant healthcare burdens to society.

Schizophrenia | A severe mental disorder characterised by profound disruptions in thinking that affect language, perception and the sense of self. According to WHO estimates, schizophrenia affects approximately 24 million people worldwide and is most common in adults aged between 15 and 35 years. The symptoms of schizophrenia are broadly categorised as positive, negative and cognitive. Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviours such as hallucinations and delusions. Negative symptoms are associated with disruption of normal behaviour and emotions, such as inability to sustain planned activity or a lack of motivation and interest in day-to-day living. Cognitive symptoms include trouble focusing or paying attention. Persistent negative symptoms are a major cause of chronic disability. There is currently no marketed product available to treat the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

Written by blueroselady

April 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Posted in health

Tagged with , , ,

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