According to a report released on World Cancer Day, the World Health Organization is foreseeing a “tidal wave” of cancer overcoming the world.
By 2035, the organization predicts that the number of cancer cases will be close to 24 million per year and the ongoing cost of care for patients will skyrocket. However, it notes that half of those cases could be prevented. It wants to focus on targeting cancer causes like smoking, drinking and obesity.
Director of the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer noted just how much of the cost for cancer treatment the world will have to bear. “”If we look at the cost of treatment of cancers, it is spiraling out of control, even for the high-income countries. Prevention is absolutely critical and it’s been somewhat neglected.”
The World Cancer Report for 2014 listed that the major causes of preventable cancer are smoking, radiation (sun and medical scans), air pollution, delayed parenthood (as well as having fewer children and not breast-feeding), alcohol, infections and obesity.
One of the major issues with these causes is that though we understand the dangers of each, we don’t always associate cancer. Dr. Bernard Stewart from the University of South Wales stated,
“In relation to alcohol, for example, we’re all aware of the acute effects, whether it’s car accidents or assaults, but there’s a burden of disease that’s not talked about because it’s simply not recognised, specifically involving cancer. The extent to which we modify the availability of alcohol, the labelling of alcohol, the promotion of alcohol and the price of alcohol – those things should be on the agenda.” (sic)
Using this same argument, he said there’s a case to be made against sugar, which fuels obesity and can lead to various cancers.
The way to prevent cancer that stems from a poor diet is easy. Live an active live, completely cut out processed foods, limit alcohol and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Easier said than done, sure, but eating more broccoli and refraining from drinking soda sound a lot easier than having cancer.