Due to the rising awareness about the early warning signs of cancer in the developed countries, there has been a steady decline in the number of deaths associated with cancer. The developed countries also have the advanced technologies for detecting cancer and treating it.
However, the developed and under-developed countries are witnessing an opposite trend. The latest study published in the medical journal for Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention mentions a global shift in the incidence of cancer. A possible link exists between the western lifestyle and cancer risk in the developing countries.
It has been found that though the developed countries continue to have the highest rate for the incidence of cancer, these rates are slowly reducing or reaching a plateau.
On the other hand, there is a sharp rise in the incidence of the disease in the developing countries, as the lifestyles of the people in these countries have become westernized. The research was also aimed at finding the possible factors responsible for the rising incidence of cancer in these countries.
The American Cancer Society has observed that the people in the developing countries have more income and are exposed to better options regarding lifestyle and comfort. As a result, they are not as active as they should be or used to be.
The extra income has also led to an increasing number of people who have started smoking or drinking alcohol. Since all these are the high-risk factors for cancer, there is a rise in the cancer incidence in these countries in the past few years.
Population studies have also shown that the Western eating pattern such as eating foods containing high amounts of fatty meat, refined carbohydrate, processed foods, and alcohol are responsible for causing a higher risk of cancer. Hence, it is extremely important to increase awareness about the impact of following a Western lifestyle and diet on the health.
The study is important because most of the cancers in the developing and underdeveloped countries are preventable. The risk of cancer and the mortality associated with the disease can be reduced by regular cancer screening programs and the efforts to keep the people, especially teens, from smoking and drinking alcohol.
Further efforts are needed to enhance the cancer control measures keeping in mind the dramatic differences in the cancer risk and lifestyles within the heterogeneous population across the world.
Effective strategies for reducing the cancer rates in the developing countries include the use of culturally appropriate health advisors, community-based intervention programs and encouraging healthy lifestyle habits. This is expected to break the link between western lifestyle and cancer risk in the developing countries.
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