Cancer has undoubtedly become a health menace. With the global cancer prevalence rising from 7% in 2000 to 14% in 2015, there is a reason to worry. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified cancer as the third most common cause of mortality and morbidity in the world after diabetes and heart-related complications. In a shocking revelation, WHO stated that 14 million new cancer cases were reported globally in 2012. On the same note, the global health watchdog prospected that this prevalence could rise by up to 70% in the next two decades. This could translate to more than 300 million (almost the entire U.S. population) suffering from cancer globally by 2050.
Lifestyle Choices Linked to Cancer
The statistics above are scary, but the forwarded reasons for the trend are more shocking. Most of the reported cancer cases are related to dietary and fitness behavior. Cancer causing infections, such as Hepatitis, Herpes, and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), constitute only a small portion of the reported cancer cases. Dietary and lifestyle changes are to blame for the rising prevalence of cancer. According to WHO, the five risk factors for cancer include excessive weight, smoking, alcoholism, low fruit intake, and lack of physical activity. Simply put, people render themselves more vulnerable to cancer through lifestyle choices. Research has linked cancer of the liver, throat, mouth, lungs, esophagus, kidney, and colon to extensive alcohol use and smoking.
Emerging Risky Trends Among Youths
Unfortunately, drinking and smoking are becoming more deeply entrenched into people’s lives. The current generation consumes more alcohol than any other past generations. Cultural integration, as a result of globalization, has led to the glorification of these two risky lifestyle behaviors. In the eyes of the contemporary youth, smoking and drinking are “cool” behaviors. This explains the increased consumption of alcohol and cigars in college parties. With the global prevalence of smoking and drinking and a scientific link between these two behaviors and cancer, the world is likely to see more cancer victims in the future.
Relative to lack of physical activity and obesity, current trends suggest increased future cases of cancer. With technology, people have become lazier. Machines have taken over almost all chores that provided individuals with an opportunity to exercise and be physically fit. A person will drive to work, sit all day, drive back home, and upon reaching home, do virtually nothing. With the option of fast foods and “dining-out,” there is every reason to worry. This trend of inactivity, which encourages the accumulation of excessive weight, combined with the increased consumption of high cholesterol and sugary foods, creates a conducive environment for cancer cells to thrive. At this pace, the world is likely to witness more cancer victims in the future.