Middle Age Cancer Rises 18%

This is not good news, is it?! See the stories in several papers yesterday about the seemingly meteoric rise of cancer, especially breast and prostate cancers, in middle-aged people?

There is a good summary of the report, which was based on statistics from Cancer Research UK’s new campaign, at Patient UK. It does point out, of course, that the number of people surviving cancer (is that based on the old 5 years or more in remission figure though??) has doubled in the same time as the increase, and that better diagnosis could be the reason for the increase.

I think this is no doubt a factor – and actually I do worry just how many people have been diagnosed with breast ‘cancers’ and high PSA counts which actually do not need to be treated. Some experts believe ductal carcinomas in breast tissue are relatively harmless and don’t need treatment, and others think the PSA count is really misleading. Could all this diagnosis actually be picking up stuff we normally have anyway? An interesting thought.

You can read the Daily Telegraph story here.

In essence, cancer in people aged 40 to 59 has risen from 44,000 in 1979 to 61,000 in 2008, according to Cancer Research UK.   This is an 18% rise after population structures are taken into account. Women’s cancers are rising by over 25%.  Breast cancer is up by 50% & prostate cancer is the fastest rising middle-aged male cancer which has risen 6-fold.

Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised if hormonal cancers were on the rise, even taking into account the diagnostics. Our environment is awash with hormone components from drugs, what is given to livestock to increase production, from pesticides we spray on our food, from the plastics we surround ourselves with.

Think of all those plastic boxes you store your food in, plastic bottles you drink from, clingfilm you wrap your food in, and don’t get me started on ready meals cooked in plastic in ovens, toasters and microwaves! It would be more surprising if there wasn’t a problem given the amount of hormones we are ingesting, let alone the stuff we make ourselves. You’ve only got to look at the creatures who live in the water where all those hormones are going to see what the problem is – fish are having real problems, and so are we it seems.

My advice is simple: avoid plastics and ingesting so-called xeno-oestrogens from the environment, get your balance of good and bad oestrogens checked out (for more on this look at the posts here) and do something about it early enough if you find an issue, and read up on the tests so you have a balanced view that actually not every ‘cancer’ found is a problem.

 

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