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Top 5 Reasons Why Cancer Prevalence is High Today

by South University
December 28, 2012

Medical studies are showing a massive increase in cancer patients. According to research conducted by the American Cancer Society, cancer costs more lost productivity than many diseases spread person to person, and the World Health Organization has predicted that in the near future, cancer will surpass heart disease as the top cause of death in the world. Here are the top 5 reasons why cancer prevalence is high today, and is expected to be higher in the near future if precautions are not taken.

Unhealthy eating
In these hard economic times, many people have been forced to take more than one job in order to be financially stable. Spending more time working consequently leads to shorter time allocated to performing other activities, including cooking. This has translated to unhealthy eating habits, such as eating junk food and processed meals. Such foods have high concentrations of chemicals that trigger cell oxidation and subsequently, the release of free radicals. This process triggers the growth and spread of cancer cells.

Exposure to carcinogenic substances
In June 2011, the US Department of Health and Human Services compiled an updated list of carcinogens. These included formaldehyde, captafol, glass wool fibers, riddelliine, and styrene. Some of these are found in plastics, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, food additives, resins, and herbal tea that we use on a regular basis.

Unhealthy lifestyle
A recent study, Cancer Facts and Figures 2012, shows that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States in 2012. The study also states that this is the most preventable type of cancer. Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as smoking and drinking alcohol have enhanced prevalence of cancer of the respiratory tract. Most lip, throat, lung, stomach, kidney and esophagus cancer cases are linked to tobacco and alcohol intake. With the number of both female and male smokers increasing, it is evident that we will have more cancer patients in the future.

Climate change
The environment has changed significantly over the years. Climate change and the green house effect means more hostile UV radiation from the sun as well as unfavorable environmental conditions. The increasing short-wave UV radiation has triggered an increase in skin cancer patients. A study by scientists at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute revealed that the UV radiation is the major cause of most melanoma cases. Using new molecular technology, the scientists discovered thousands of gene mutations and damages that lead to cancer were caused by the sun's short-wave radiation.

Some types of cancer are passed on from generation to generation within a family. Some families have had several members who have suffered from the same type of cancer.


Tags: health medicine cancer healthcare nursing

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