BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A study shows that lifestyles are responsible for the rise of cancer rates in developing countries.
The study was published in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention and shows that the Western lifestyle might be responsible for cancer in lower-income countries.
Cancer rates are still the highest in developed countries, but they seem to be at a standstill or even decreasing. In developing countries it is exactly the opposite.
What is the explanation? With the benefit of higher incomes come more options, although not healthier ones. For instance, people might become more sedentary when they can afford to pay for public or private transportation as opposed to walking.
With the higher income, they might also pick up habits that expose them to a high cancer risk, like smoking and drinking alcohol.
The study also revealed that there are certain types of cancer that are more prevalent in some countries while not in others. In Asia, people are diagnosed most often with breast and cervical cancer, while lung cancer was most common in China and North Korea.
The period that was analyzed started with the year 2003 and continued until the present. The data for the years 2003-2007 was provided by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, while the data starting with the year 2012 was obtained from the WHO Cancer Mortality database.
This is the first report to reveal the cancer rates and trends around the world and it might give people in developed countries a means of helping those that are not so fortunate.
For instance, some treatable forms of cancer might be prevented or healed with the benefit of cancer screening and smoking prevention programs. Additional help could be provided by the HPV vaccine, which prevents cervical cancer.
The study has helped to overturn preconceptions or outdated information about cancer. For instance it was believed that cancer was a disease of the Western world and that only cancers based on infections affected developing countries. But the new information shows that things have started to change and the previous information we had about the disease no longer applies.
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