It’s said that age is the greatest risk factor for developing cancer, with risk increasing significantly after age 50, and half of all cancers diagnosed in people age 66 and above. (1) Currently, there is no single reason why aging bodies are more susceptible to cancer, although longer exposure to carcinogens and mutations in the genome are certainly culprits.
Since the population is aging (isn’t it always because that’s the way it works?) I don’t take issue with that, but will someone please explain to me how a fit, healthy, 25-year old, aging but not aged Army serviceman is diagnosed with testicular cancer?
Or a healthy, fit, aging but not aged 42-year old is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer?
Testicular cancer isn’t actually my area of expertise nor experience. Neither is pancreatic. But in the last 2 weeks alone, and as recently as this morning, I’ve learned of 3 new cancer diagnoses – pancreatic, breast and testicular – in people that I know, are related to people that I know, or who were referred to me for cancer nutrition education by someone that I know.
When. Does. It. Stop.
This informational slide from American Cancer Society Cancer Facts & Figures paints a not-so-pretty picture. And I wanted to share it with you.
If you think for one minute that you’re not a cancer target, I would advise you to re-think. The statistics are ridiculously alarming, and the fact that cancer diagnoses are on the rise, while a sense of urgency devoted to determining what’s causing the increase appears to be lacking, is beyond me.
While I’m grateful for continually improved treatments, pharmaceuticals, and early detection, I must stress that these are not cures, nor are they preventive. Early screening does not prevent cancer, it simply catches it – hopefully before it’s had an opportunity to do too much damage.
I know how complex cancer is, how random, how wily, how varied and virulent – but I don’t care. I want research dedicated to determining causes and outcomes that provide ways to avoid/prevent.
Is that asking too much?