The World Health Organization (WHO) laid it on the line for the world to see and on the heels of World Cancer Day: “Cancer cases are expected to surge 57 percent worldwide in the next 20 years.”
Cancer is a disease of statistics and that is one, heavy duty statistic.
This report by The World Cancer Report, WHO’s specialized cancer agency, doesn’t stop there. It goes on to say new cancer cases will rise from an estimated 14 million a year, in 2012 to close to 22 million within the next couple of decades. Developing countries are at higher risk for increased case numbers, but even in countries like the U.S.A., more of us need to work on the preventative side of cancer.
There is a silver lining to the report, if you can call it that. The report points out that almost half the cancers are preventable if life style changes, such as smoking, drinking, exercise and diet are modified. We all need to eat better, move more, never smoke and cut down on our drinking. The other piece of the ‘preventable’ part is the use of cancer screening programs. In other words “use them.”
The report also points out that the United States is investing in the right methods by developing early cancer detection programs. Screening, genetic testing and education about cancers are playing a role in cancer mortality rates trending downward here.
And, we’re all getting older too. The aging population plays a big role in these big numbers.
So if 60 is the new 40 and we’ve found a way to roll back the calendar, we should be able to take these numbers under advisement and do something about our cancer health status too.
WHO cares and so should we.