INTERNATIONAL CANCER DAY 390.
(photo credit: Thinkstock)
It is possible to prevent 60 percent of cancer deaths by lifestyle changes,
early diagnoses and proven medical interventions, according to the Israel Cancer
The ICA is marking International Cancer Day on February
Every year, 12.7 million people around the globe are diagnosed with
cancer, and 600,000 die in an average month, a total of 7,200,000 a year.
Estimates are that as the population ages, the world death rate from cancer will
reach 12 million by the year 2030.
In Israel, 28,000 people – adults and
children – are diagnosed yearly, and about 10,000 of them die of it. These
figures, said the ICA, have not only huge personal implications but also major
economic and societal effects.
The World Health Organization has stated
in advance of the international day that of 57 million cases of death in 2008,
36 million resulted from non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart
disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes complications. If
nothing is done to fight tobacco, the WHO says, the annual number of deaths
caused by smoking will rise from 3.4 million now to 6.3 million in
The World Economic Forum in 2011 said obesity raises per-capita
expenses for medical care by 36 percent, smoking by 21% and heavy use of alcohol
by 10%. All of these increase the risk of death from cancer. Annual world
expenditure for treating noncommunicable, lifestyle diseases is $30 trillion, it
added. The forum said in 2009 that noncommunicable diseases is one of the
greatest threats on the world economy. People with chronic diseases work as many
as six hours less per week.
ICA Director-General Miri Ziv said that
despite the worrisome statistics, scientific studies show that six cancer deaths
out of 10 can be prevented by living a healthful life, early diagnosis,
immunizations and adequate national allocation for interventions that have been
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Cancer is the most damaging disease to the economy. The
financial cost of 13 million new cancer patients each year was $290 billion in
2010. The figure is expected to reach $458b. in another 18 years.
was good news, though. Breast cancer survival rates per year in Israel
grew from 80.5% in 2002 to 86% in 2008.
The Union for International
Cancer Control (UICC) called on the various national government to allocate
money to apply the International Cancer Treaty in their health systems and
reduce death from cancer and other non-communicable diseases by a quarter in
The ICA pointed out that in the last decade, the prevalence of
thyroid cancer has increased in all population groups, but especially in Arab
women. It is considered a slowly growing tumor with a low death rate. While it
is less common in the general public, it is more common in Arabs, even though
the rate is very small. Survival from thyroid cancer is over 90% over five
To avoid a wide variety of cancers, maintain normal weight over
the years, without yo-yo dieting. Exercise regularly and minimize the number of
fattening foods you eat. Youth should exercise daily, if possible, but at least
three times a week. Cut the number of hours you spent sitting or lying down and
Minimize the amount of high-calorie, salty and sugary foods
you eat and prefer vegetables, fiber and fruit. Poultry and fish are much
preferable to red and fatty meat. Prefer baking and cooking to grilling and
frying meat. Whole wheat products are much more healthful that those made from
Eating garlic reduces the risk of colorectal cancer,
according to recent research. There is no evidence, the experts say, that
artificial sweeteners used in normal quantities raise the cancer risk, and they
are preferable to sugar.
There is no agreement among scientists that
eating organic foods are more effective in reducing cancer risks than ordinary
food, the ICA said. Wash produce with water (and soap if possible). Avoid trans
fats that are produced from turning vegetable oil to solid fat such as
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