Ahead of a UN summit to discuss cancer, the World Cancer Research Fund has announced that new cases have surged by nearly 20% in the past decade. Globally speaking, the spike in new cases is largely self-inflicted, stemming from obesity, alcohol consumption and smoking. As the world continues to develop economically and societies become ever more affluent, the rates represent a mounting challenge for public health authorities across the world.
This doesn’t mean that we are all suddenly at an elevated risk of developing a case of cancer, but rather represents the global growth in the number of cancer cases that are reported annually as economies elevate the standard of living across the world, and bring with it a more sedentary lifestyle, replete with a fatty diet, booze and cigarettes. So, I guess the silver lining here would be a global commitment to cancer prevention in the form of new policies in those developing countries that are experiencing rising cancer rates and a new push in the developed world to come up with new treatments to combat the disease. A twist on the old saying, I guess, would be that when life gives you health problems, come up with new public health strategies to combat that problem. Not that catchy, but it’s as applicable, if not more so, than the lemons saying.