Cancer An Endemic

Do you ever wonder why so many people are being diagnosed with cancer despite significant advances in cancer research, prevention, and treatment made by science? The latest cancer report from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), Bengaluru, confirms the sharp increase in cancer cases in India, estimating a 12% increase in the next five years.


Cancer remains an epidemic, despite the availability of modern chemotherapeutic approaches and the power of molecular investigative efforts, and the question of “why is cancer becoming an endemic today?” remains unanswered. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently stated that while the rates of some cancers are decreasing or stabilising through 2020, the overall number of cancer cases and deaths continues to rise.


Is Cancer Becoming Endemic?


To some extent, increased use of screening programmes has contributed to this phenomenon, though a genuine increase in the incidence of early-onset forms of several cancer types appears to have emerged as well. 


Significant multigenerational changes in the exposome have occurred since the mid-20th century (including changes in diet, lifestyle, obesity, environment, and the microbiome, all of which may interact with genomic and/or genetic susceptibilities). The effects of individual exposures, on the other hand, are largely unknown.


Why is Cancer becoming endemic?


  • Longer life expectancy is a major contributor to India’s overall cancer incidence. People’s immune systems deteriorate as they age, making them vulnerable to cancer risks.” Simply put, as we age, our bodies have more time to accumulate faults, and as the body accumulates more of these faults in our genes, the risk of cancer increases significantly.


  • Cancer has no single cause; it is multifactorial, just like diabetes and heart disease. Adoption of a western lifestyle, poor dietary habits, dairy (due to rBGH, FSH, and LH in milk production), processed foods, food additives, non-vegetarian diets, chemical pollution, constipation, and lack of exercise are some of them.


  •  For instance, Breast cancer cases are being exacerbated by a poor lifestyle, longer working hours, increasingly stressful lives, smoking, alcohol consumption, and contraception use. Furthermore, women live longer than men, which increases their chances of developing cancer.


  • While we all know that living an active lifestyle is important for avoiding cancer, some other unbreakable rules include: no smoking, no tobacco chewing, avoiding processed foods, daily exercise, and, last but not least, meditation. While we don’t have exact data on the impact of stress on the occurrence of cancer, there is compelling evidence that stress can cause hypertension, which can cause havoc in the body.


You’ve probably heard contradictory information on cancer prevention. A cancer-prevention tip recommended in one study may be cautioned against in another.


What is known about cancer prevention is frequently evolving. However, it is widely acknowledged that your lifestyle choices influence your risk of acquiring cancer.


So, if you’re interested in cancer prevention, know that modest lifestyle adjustments can make a difference. Consider the following cancer-prevention advice.


  • Avoid Tobacco consumption:


Tobacco use of any kind puts you on a collision path with cancer. Smoking has been associated to a variety of cancers, including lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreatic, bladder, cervix, and kidney cancer. Chewing tobacco has been related to oral cavity and pancreatic cancer. Even if you do not use tobacco, secondhand smoke may raise your risk of developing lung cancer.


Tobacco avoidance – or the decision to cease using it – is a crucial aspect of cancer prevention. If you need assistance quitting cigarettes, consult your doctor about stop-smoking products and other quitting methods.


  • Diet:


Making smart choices at meals may not ensure cancer prevention, but it may lessen your risk. 


Consider the following guidelines:


  • Consume an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Consume fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods such as whole grains and beans.


  • Keep a healthy weight. Eat less high-calorie foods, such as refined carbohydrates and animal fat. 


  • If you prefer to consume alcohol, do so in moderation. The amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly raise your risk of developing cancers such as breast, colon, lung, kidney, and liver cancer.


  • Avoid eating processed meats.


  • Maintain a healthy weight and engage in physical activity:

Maintaining a healthy weight may reduce the risk of numerous types of cancer, including breast, prostate, lung, colon, and kidney cancer.


Physical activity is also important. Physical activity may reduce your chances of breast and colon cancer in addition to helping you regulate your weight.


  •  Skin care:


Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer – yet one of the easiest to avoid. Consider the following suggestions:


Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are at their greatest.


Stay in the shade- If you’re going to be outside, try to stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat also assist.


Wear closely woven, loose-fitting clothing that covers as much of your flesh as possible. Choose vivid or dark colours that reflect more UV rays than pastels or bleached cotton.


Don’t scrimp on sunscreen—even on cloudy days, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Use a large amount of sunscreen and reapply it every two hours.