On World Cancer Day the World Health Organisation (WHO) is warning of a global tidal wave of cancer.
The World Cancer Report 2014 is now available to download and warns that we need to do more to prevent cancer happening in the first place.
The major sources of preventable cancer include:
- Obesity and inactivity
- Radiation, both from the sun and medical scans
- Air pollution and other environmental factors
- Delayed parenthood, having fewer children and not breastfeeding
For most countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, cervical cancer dominates in large parts of Africa.
There does appear to be a degree of ignorance around some of the underlying causes of some cancers: A survey of 2,046 people in the UK by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) suggested 49% do not know that diet increases the risk of developing cancer.
A third of people said cancer was mainly due to family history, but the charity said no more than 10% of cancers were down to inherited genes.
New treatments and earlier diagnosis will also be needed.
As cancer rates and the number of older people increase there will be an incremental rise in need and demand for our advocacy services. More older people affected by cancer will need to be trained as volunteer advocates to support their peers. We’ll keep working with our project partner Macmillan Cancer Support to continue to make a difference to the lives of the older people we support.