Cancer: What are the main reasons for the rise in cancer cases?

Cancer cases among young people have been on the rise at an alarming rate over the past few decades. Studies have shown that modern lifestyle factors rather than genetic factors are responsible for the increase in early-set cancer. People are getting used to not only smoking and drinking like never before but also foods that are high in sodium and low in fibre. A recent study found it increased from 1990.1 million in 82 to 2019.3 million in 26. Cancer cases diagnosed at the age of 14-49 years are referred to as early cancers. Experts say there may be environmental factors, such as pollution, to cause cancer.

The global increase in cancer cases is attributed to several factors such as alterations in lifestyle, consumption of processed foods, and pollution. This epidemic is prevalent across the world. In India, the commonly occurring cancers include breast cancer, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and stomach cancer, with varying prevalence in different regions. The availability of better healthcare facilities emphasizes the need for early detection and prevention of cancer.

Smoking and Drinking

Smoking and drinking alcohol can lead to a variety of cancers, such as head and neck malignancy, gastrointestinal, kidney/bladder cancers, etc. The use of vaping/e-cigarettes among urban youth has significantly increased. Rural areas continue to use hookah/beedi for rest as well. This puts the person and his family (second-hand smoke) at a higher risk of developing cancer.

Due to Pollution

Delayed marriages, gestational age, obesity, excessive drinking or women’s smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle are attributed to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer among urban women. The high level of pollution is increasing every year. Due to this, cancer cases are on the rise, and it is advisable to use N95 filter masks while going out.

Note: The contents are only for understanding. Provided as per the advice of health experts. Consult a medical professional if you have any doubts.)

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