Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Why do so many people end up getting cancer?

Well, at least it seems like it.  And as this fascinating, thought-provoking article explains in much detail, the basic reason is that we live so long nowadays that cancer ends up getting us eventually.  In a way, it's an ironic result of the tremendous gains the medical sciences have made in life expectancy over the last 100 years.  Consider this excerpt from the article:
The rhetoric about the war on cancer implies that with enough money and determination, science might reduce cancer mortality as dramatically as it has with other leading killers — one more notch in medicine’s belt. But what, then, would we die from? Heart disease and cancer are primarily diseases of aging.

Fewer people succumbing to one means more people living long enough to die from the other. The newest cancer report, which came out in mid-December, put the best possible face on things. If one accounts for the advancing age of the population — with the graying of the baby boomers, death itself is on the rise — cancer mortality has actually been decreasing bit by bit in recent decades.
This really is an excellent article.  Check it out here.