According to new figures out by the Canadian Cancer Society, cancer is not going away anytime soon with projections showing that new cases will increase at a rate of about 40 per cent by 2030 as the population ages and grows. An estimated 277,000 people a year will be diagnosed with cancer by 2030.
The Society says the numbers are a reflection of the fact that our population is aging with about 89 per cent of all new cases diagnosed among Canadians over the age of 50, the stage of life the baby boomer generation is entering.
The study is a reminder that our current system needs to step up to the plate to prepare for caring for those with cancer in the future and that as individuals taking care of ourselves day by day WILL impact the future of our health.
Looking at the Big Picture
If we look at males and females, it would appear that cancer incidence rates for males overall is going down but for women up (since 2001, the age-adjusted cancer incidence rate for males is declining to 0.7 per cent per year but still increasing in females at 0.5 per cent per year).
The society estimated overall there will be 196,900 new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2015. About half will be for prostate, breast, lung and colorectal cancers. All of which can be prevented with healthy behaviours says the Society who advises the following:
- If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. It’s estimated that smoking is responsible for 30 per cent of all cancer deaths in Canada and is related to more than 85 per cent of lung cancer cases.
- Get screened. The society estimates if 80 per cent of Canadians aged 50 and older were screened for colorectal cancer, it could save 40,000 lives over the next 15 years. There are also screening programs for breast and cervical cancer.
- Get vaccinated against HPV. This virus is linked with cervical cancer as well as cancers of the penis, anus, vulva, vagina, oral cavity and throat.
- Eat well and be active. About one-third of all cancers can be prevented with diet and exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight.
- Practice sun safety and don’t use indoor tanning. Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer and is mostly preventable.
The report is released in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada.
BOTTOM LINE: If you take your health seriously, making lifestyle choices DOES impact the outcome, particularly when we get older. Take this study and the results as a reminder that being PROACTIVE DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Source: Canadian Cancer Society
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