Wednesday February 20, 2019

Chronic Diseases Raise Cancer and Mortality Risk

Chronic diseases are not yet a target in cancer prevention schemes 

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Chronic diseases are not yet included in cancer prevention schemes.
Chronic diseases are not yet included in cancer prevention schemes.
  • Many chronic diseases are found to have been the cause of cancer
  • This also has an effect on the mortality rate
  • Chronic diseases are not yet a target in cancer prevention schemes

Several common chronic diseases including hypertension, heart disease and diabetes, together account for more than a fifth of new cancer cases and more than a third of cancer deaths, finds a study.

Chronic diseases were responsible for 71 per cent of deaths globally in 2015, primarily from cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and respiratory disease, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015, published in the Lancet.

Chronic diseases can cause cancer as well.
Chronic diseases can cause cancer as well.

The study found that cardiovascular disease markers, diabetes, chronic kidney disease markers, pulmonary disease, and gouty arthritis marker were individually associated with risk of developing cancer or cancer death.

Also Read: Colorectal Cancer Rising Among Young Adults

High chronic disease risk scores were also associated with substantial reduction in life span.

The highest scores were associated with 13.3 years of life lost in men and 15.9 years of life lost in women.

They also found that physical activity was associated with a nearly 40 per cent reduction in the excess risks of cancer and cancer death associated with chronic diseases and markers.

Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay
Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay

Besides, chronic diseases, lifestyle factors like smoking, insufficient physical activity, insufficient fruit and vegetable intake, alcohol consumption, also lead to cancer, said the researchers led by Xifeng Wu, Professor at the University of Texas in Houston, US.

Also Read: Alcohol can be linked with seven types of Cancer: Research

According to the study, published in the journal BJM, chronic diseases are not targeted in the current cancer prevention strategies.

Studies have shown that certain chronic diseases may predispose to cancer, but these studies generally assessed chronic diseases or disease markers individually.

Cancer prevention schemes are now focusing on chronic diseases as well. IANS
Cancer prevention schemes are now focusing on chronic diseases as well. IANS

Yet chronic diseases tend to be clustered together, so there is a need to understand more about their joint impact on cancer risk, the researchers mentioned.

For the study, the team included 405,878 men and women with no history of cancer.

They investigated the combined effect of eight common chronic diseases or disease markers on cancer risk compared with lifestyle factors. IANS

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Low Cure Rate For Childhood Cancer in India: Experts

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner

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Health insurance covers only for hospitalization and doesn’t necessarily cover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of major illnesses. flickr

Childhood cancer comprises almost 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India, experts said here on Friday, expressing concern over the low cure rate due to lack of available data.

“The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centres, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala said at an awareness programme conducted by Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, cancer in children constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India.

Agarwala said a large portion of the incidence of childhood cancer in society is still not addressed.

Cancer survivor. Flickr

Also, a large section who don’t have access to premier institutes are often diagnosed late due to financial crunch and that is why the overall treatment rate in India is low.

“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala said.

“We must remember this 5 per cent of cancer is majorly curable if given proper treatment,” he said.

Leukaemia and retinoblastoma (a form of cancer where children have a white eye) are the two common forms of cancer in children.

Also Read- Push-ups Can Lower The Risk of Heart Diseases

Talking about awareness and symptoms that parents need to watch out for, he said: “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner. (IANS)