Cancer Rates

Yes, in my desperate attempt to find something worth talking about, I have done what I probably should always do in the first place, and turn to BBC news; ensuring my references are less dated, and more relevant to the present. Just for reference I will place the URL above the topic in case you want the professionals to tell you the news straight instead of listening to my over opinionated self; although, I suppose you’d already be over there if that was your preference.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12394329

So, according to the BBC, the World Health Organisation is making predictions about the future, without the aid of crystal balls or constellations, but by extrapolating current trends in data.

Recent statistics in fact, apparently show enough of a correlation in falling cancer deaths that during 2011 there should be around 7% less deaths in men and 6% less deaths in women from cancer (stomach, colon, breast, womb, prostate, male lung); good news, and to be expected considering how much medical care and survival rates in general improve over time as better medicine etc. develops.

What’s interesting here however, is that female lung cancer in general has been on the rise across Europe, with the UK leading the way with the highest rate of female lung cancer related deaths for the last ten years. And while that’s not on the decline, according to this article they will be levelling off somewhat.

Now why could this be? Could this be a result of higher smoking rates in women across Europe? There are certainly a lot of female smokers around, but who’s to say there are a significant amount more today than prior to the steady increase? The problem could lie somewhere else however, especially considering the NIH (national institute of health) claims that women who have never previously smoked are more likely to develop lung cancer than men who have never previously smoked.

Could this then be something to do with the relative proportions of men and women? The same amount of carcinogenic agents infiltrating a generally smaller space? Could it be something to do with oestrogen? Certainly there are some websites claiming that oestrogen promotes genetic mutations to a certain degree; this could be a possible link considering the increased levels of the hormone in women, however, men do produce this hormone as well. If this is a possible link, and that connection is extremely dubious without long term test indicating oestrogen levels in both men and women and the rate of lung cancer (and other cancers) development; then this could potentially play a part in beginning to reduce the female lung cancer rates akin to the men’s lung cancer rates, and the other forms of the disease mentioned above.

I wonder what Gregg Braden would have to say about this? Maybe that people are generally getting happier, that they want to live more, and to think I almost went through an entire cancer-orientated blog without mentioning that slimeball.

Yes it is a wonder to think why even in the face of more efficient science leading to prolonged life expectancy and survival rates of many diseases, that snake oil salesmen still thrive; but to understand that there is desperation in those situations is basic to our understanding of life; we just need to understand that there are some dubious people out there who see an opening and wish to exploit those clinging desperately to life.

The good news however, is that as long as the rates of these deaths continue to fall, less people will end up in the sort of situation where they will be exploited to their deathbeds, and there will be more people dying with dignity.

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One response to “Cancer Rates

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