Cancer Rates are on the Rise Globally

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Cancer rates could further increase by 50% in the year 2020

This is according to the World Cancer Report, the most comprehensive global examination of the disease to date. They have also calculated the "lifetime risk" of someone getting cancer, which was more than 1 in 3.

But now the latest estimate, which uses the most accurate calculation method to date, now puts our chances of developing the disease at 1 in 2. There will be 18.1 million new cases of cancer and 9.6 million people will die globally from the disease this year alone.

Poverty used to have a large effect on cancer rates, however, as countries become wealthier, more people get cancer from lifestyle and environmental factors more than anything else. With lung cancer being one of the leading causes of cancer in women.

This isn’t to say we’re not making progress: more people are beating cancer today than ever before. Half of the people diagnosed will survive their cancer diagnoses but research and clinical trials are still extremely vital.

Cancer Rates are on the Rise Globally

Why are Cancer rates on the rise?

The first and most prevalent answer is: people are living longer. The longer we live, the more time we have for errors to occur in our DNA. As medical science advances and life mortality rates lower, the chances of someone getting cancer increases, as we amass more faults in our genes.

Time + DNA Error = Cancer

There is also a large amount of cancer-causing chemicals in our everyday lives. Such as carcinogens in our food, unhealthy lifestyle, toxic pollutions in the air, and higher levels of stress in general. People all over the planet are exposed to more substances that can trigger cancer in those genetically predisposed.

Cancer Rates are on the Rise Globally

How to help your chances

The biggest prevention factor is early detection through screening for cancers that allow for prevention and successful treatment.

It is possible to stack the odds of avoiding cancer in our favor. The way someone lives their life can either help or hurt their odds of getting cancer. Certain factors can contribute to the rate at which errors occur in our genes. These include things we can control, and some we can’t. They include our lifestyle, genetics, family history, or the air we breathe – and they can all play different roles in our overall risk of developing the disease.

However, the World Cancer Report does provide clear evidence that healthy lifestyles and public health initiatives through cancer education can greatly help and prevent as many as one-third of cancers worldwide.

The reduction of tobacco consumption is obviously the biggest way to reduce your risk of getting cancer, smoke and second-hand smoke have serious negative effects and can trigger cancer in the body. In the last century, approximately 100 million people have died globally from tobacco-associated diseases.

Tobacco consumption remains the most important avoidable cancer risk. 

Why Research and Funding are Critical

Clinical research is an important component in increasing treatment options for people with all types of cancer. Cancer research studies are experimental treatments or combinations of different treatments that offer specific advantages for their cancer type.

Clinical research studies help physicians find new ways to improve cancer care and the overall health of a patient.

Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer. While on a clinical trial, doctors and researchers closely monitor patients throughout their treatment process to determine if the new drug or treatment is safe and if it works better than what is currently available to cancer patients.

This has been the most trusted way to determine or prevent cancer cells.

With adequate research and funding, countries can achieve substantial drops in death and cancer rates annually. These opportunities exist, the only question is whether we will take advantage of them for the benefit of all humankind.

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