A report by the Canadian Cancer Society revealed that nearly half of the general population may be diagnosed with certain types of cancer in their lifetime. Data from the Canadian Cancer Statistics annual report for 2017 showed that 49 percent of men and 45 percent of women were expected to develop cancer. These rates were significantly higher compared with last year’s report where 45 percent of men and 42 percent of women were likely to develop the disease.
The report showed that cancer mostly impacted middle-aged and senior patients, with the risk simultaneously increasing with age. According to the researchers, nearly 90 percent of the new cancer cases were expected to occur in people older than 50 years old. The report also revealed that 45 percent of all cancer cases in 2017 will occur in patients aged 70 and older.
Lung cancer was expected to account for 14 percent of the total estimated cancer cases in 2017. The condition alone is expected to kill more people than colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer combined. On the other hand, colorectal cancer was expected to be the second most common form of cancer among Canadians. Breast and prostate cancer were also among the most common forms of cancer that may hit the Canadian population.
“It’s not one disease, it’s actually many diseases. And every time we hear a breakthrough, there’s always a great deal of hope that this is going to be the silver bullet that will end cancer. But ultimately what we find is each one of these advances will help a certain group of people, a certain group of diagnoses, but not everyone. So we need to be able to do the research in all of the different areas of cancer where there is a need,” said radiation oncologist Dr. Jolie Ringash.
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“The new numbers are a better reflection of the risk of being diagnosed with cancer at some point in life, whether in the future or in the past. We’re getting better at fighting this disease, and so the diagnosis isn’t as scary all the time as it perhaps used to be in the past… We have great screening programs across Canada so it’s really important to get screened according to the recommendations. There is a lot we can do. Prevention is absolutely key. And research continues to improve the outlook for people who have been diagnosed with cancer,” report author Dr. Leah Smith added.
The researchers noted that the risk of cancer can be reduced by adopting healthy habits such as quitting smoking, exercising, and eating a diet high in fiber, fruits, and vegetables.
Fruits and veggies laden with herbicide may still cause cancer
While the health experts suggested eating more fruits and vegetables in preventing cancer, crops exposed to a toxic herbicide called glyphosate may actually exacerbate the risk of developing the disease. In fact, California’s Superior Court Judge Kristi Culver Kapetan ruled that the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup was a potential human carcinogen. Under the new ruling, California may proceed with listing glyphosate as a cancer-causing chemical. This was in accordance with the Proposition 65 or the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.
Still under the ruling, California may require Roundup manufacturer Monsanto to feature a cancer warning on its product’s label. The World Health Organization‘s International Agency for Research on Cancer has also previously labeled glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.