Sharp Rise in Lifestyle-Related Cancers


Sunny holidays, sweet treats and juicy grilled meats, as well as liters of alcohol and lots of smoking – this may remind you of the last vacation you took with a bunch of friends, but it’s in fact the reason for the increased number of cancer cases in recent years. Experts warn that unhealthy lifestyle choices are fueling a sharp rise in lifestyle-related cancers.

Too much fun is never a good thing, but a new statistic shows how unhealthy behaviors can lead directly to cancer. The Office of National Statistics in the UK just released shocking figures for cancer in the country. From 2003 to 2012 all types of cancer have gone up by 27%, with a sharp increase in lifestyle-related cancers. Of course, doctors say one reason for this is the aging population in the UK which is not the case in UAE, but most of all, it’s due to poor habits and unhealthy way of living. In fact, experts can identify the main things responsible for the nation’s deteriorating health – obesity, smoking and alcohol. However, sun tanning, seemingly much more harmless, has also left us a a legacy of cancers, including the deadliest of skin cancers, melanoma.

According to UK’s ONS and their report, cases of liver cancer, associated with smoking and drinking, jumped the most, by 66% – 70% for men and 60% for women. Usually, one in 20 patients with this type of cancer survive more than 5 years, because it is diagnosed in an advanced stage. Malignant melanoma, or skin cancer, caused mostly by prolonged exposure to the damaging sun rays, has leaped by 61%. In the UK, say experts, this increase is due to the boom of tourist packages 50 years ago, when everyone spend their summer at sunny European beaches, hoping to return home relaxed and with a healthy tan. Mouth and throat cancers, also triggered by smoking and alcohol, have increased 48%, while kidney and womb cancer by 46% and tumors of the prostate and uterus have jumped by 31% and 28%, respectively.

The most common type of the disease in women, and probably the most terrifying one, breast cancer, has also increased – a jump of 12% for the period 2003-2012. Very few women are genetically predisposed, while most of them have raised risk linked to obesity, smoking and alcohol. Traditionally, smoking was the No.1 cause for cancer globally, but today, it is obesity that leads in the risk factor list.

One in three people will get cancer at some point of their life. Doctors say that all these deadly cancers are preventable and the risk can be reduced by changing how we live and eat. Cutting down on alcohol and not drinking significantly lower the risk, but healthy eating and regular exercise are also essential. Awareness about the dangers of UV rays should be raised and people should know that there is no such thing as healthy tan when you sunbathe for 10 days and expect to return with a sexy Italian-like bronze look.

The statistic by ONS is shocking, but the most disturbing thing about it is that the increase in lifestyle-related cancers is so fast, in a matter of ten years. And it isn’t limited to the UK only – the figures for entire world is equally terrifying. Although healthy lifestyles are getting trendy, we are getting sicker and our diseases are getting deadlier. Indeed, too much fun can kill you.


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