There are hundreds of variations of cancer; its incidence has remained steady in North America over the last decade and survival rates for some cancers have generally increased.
If you get down to the very granular level, however, it’s estimated that most men have a 43 % chance of developing some form of cancer in their lifetimes and women have a 38% chance (1). Those aren’t great odds.
Additionally, these rates are even higher among some demographics, as is the risk of cancer-related mortality (2).
What Is Cancer?
Cancer is a term that actually refers to a group of diseases in which the normal lifecycle of the body’s cells is interrupted:
“When cancer develops…cells become more and more abnormal, old or damaged cells survive when they should die, and new cells form when they are not needed.These extra cells can divide without stopping and may form growths called tumors. Many cancers form solid tumors, which are masses of tissue. Cancers of the blood, such as leukemias, generally do not form solid tumors. Cancerous tumors are malignant, which means they can invade nearby tissues. In addition, as these tumors grow, some cancer cells can break off and travel to distant places in the body through the blood or the lymph system and form new tumors far from the original tumor.”(3)
Cancer is currently one of the leading causes of death worldwide. It’s also the first leading cause of death in Canada and the second in the United States (4,5).
Causes of Cancer Can be Obvious…or Not
Many factors contribute to the incidence of cancer. Some of them are under our control like lifestyle, diet, and unhealthy habits; while some of them aren’t, like heredity and environmental factors.
Try as we may to live healthy lives, cancer can affect just about anyone, and when it does, it’s best to do everything we can to fight it as naturally as possible and give our body their best chance at healing itself.