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Why are we experiencing a rise in cancer cases?

Why are we experiencing a rise in cancer cases?

Cancer cases are increasing rapidly as the WHO estimates the number to rise by 17.3 lakh new cancer cases by 2020 in India. Among men, lung and oral cancer cases are rising and in women cervix and breast cancer top the list. Yearly 5,00,000 people die of cancer and WHO estimates the death to increase by 7,00,000 by 2025 globally.

But first let’s understand the cause of cancer before we can predict the future for a rising epidemic.

Cancer is a growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cells are the smallest unit of life which replicate, grow and repair independently, but in some circumstances, this process is faulted or erupted, which gives way to cancer cells. The growth of abnormal cells then spread and metastasise to other parts of the body, if not controlled in time. Due to the constant dividing and multiplying of cells, there is a high probability that some cells become “rogue” for all of us,

but why is it that a selected group of the population get cancer?

And more importantly why is that number increasing?

Cancer cases are increasing year by year for the following reasons:

1. Obesity and physical inactivity: Obesity and physical inactivity are accounting for 30-35% of cancer deaths. The fat in our body changes the way our cells work by producing excess hormones which travels through the blood and can be a cause of cancer. Fat cells produce long lasting inflammation in the body, and chronic inflammation can impact immunity to a great extent. Furthermore, it’s always advised to reduce belly fat as it’s harmful in causing diseases like cancer.

2. Diet: One of the reasons for obesity can be our diet. There is a shift from the traditional diet to a westernised diet, especially in urban areas. This is leading to a less intake of fresh vegetables and fruits. Due to long working hours, we are mostly dependant on fast foods, sugar, processed meat and foods, which are unhealthy.

3. Lifestyle: We definitely need to re-evaluate our lifestyle habits which is a major cause of many chronic illnesses. Tobacco smoke contains 50 carcinogens which accounts for 90% of lung cancer cases. Along with tobacco, increased alcohol consumption causes liver, pharynx and pancreatic cancer.

4. Stress: We live in a such a high-stress environment that encourages us to eat unhealthy, move less and function on little or no sleep. All of which compromises immunity and disrupts the body and mind. There are many illnesses that start in the mind, cancer is a major one.

5. Immunity: With unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits, our immunity is at a risk. Our immune system is the first line of defence mechanism for infections, allergy and diseases but immunity is heavily compromised due to the above reasons, leading to chronic illness including cancer.

Cancer has been a major cause of death in 2010-2013 and the cancer incidence is said to increase fivefold by 2025. Urbanisation and modernisation has had a negative impact on both the environment and health. It’s important for us to take the right precautionary measures in being mindful of the way we live our lives. Changing your lifestyle is simple and not as complicated or daunting as most people believe. We at CARER Program help you to do just that!

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