In an ageing population, the number of people living beyond 70+ is encouragingly high. Of course it’s good that people are living long, and hopefully happy lives, but however good this is, the increased population places a strain on already strained resources (hospitals, health professionals and medications). Furthermore, we also face the very real fact that because people are living longer, the chances we will develop some form of Cancer goes up proportionately.
Half Britons could develop Cancer
In fact, a Cancer research charity has warned that half of Britons living in 2020 will go on to develop cancer. The Macmillan Cancer Support assert that the stark rise in Cancer sufferers expected in and around 2020 will pose a “herculean” challenge to the NHS. The rise in Cancer diagnosis has been steadily rising for some time, in part due to better diagnostic methods, but mainly because the incidences of Cancer are rising in general. Right back to 1992 saw a figure of 32% people that died had at some point in their lives had Cancer, with this figure rising by more than 10% to 44% in 2010. Yes, the number of people who develop Cancer but don’t die has increased (67%), so this is evidence that treatment and recovery is getting better, however many patients failed to return to full health after recovering from Cancer.
Macmillan Cancer Support's chief medical officer Professor Jane Maher said:
“The more successful we are with treatment and cure, the more people we have living with the long-term effects of cancer and its treatment.
Many patients can be left with physical health and emotional problems long after treatment has ended. People struggle with fatigue, pain, immobility, or an array of other troublesome side-effects.
We need to manage these consequences for the sake of the patient, but also for the sake of the taxpayer. We should plan to have more services to help people stay well at home, rather than waiting until they need hospital treatment.”
Lifestyle, Health and Nutrition... interchangeability
All three of these things are interchangeable, health and nutrition dictate lifestyle, however lifestyle can determine health and nutrition, and of course nutrition has been proven to be a predictor of health. The longer we live, the greater the emphasis is on diet, for example, a diet high in refined sugar, salt and trans fats can have detrimental effects on chronic health. In other words, these types of processed food ingredients usually take years to have an effect on our bodies, and eventually these effects implicate our health. So naturally, the longer we live, the more time the bad eating and drinking has to take effect on our health. A healthy, balanced diet is a cliché for a reason, because it is the single best way to describe a diet (or way of eating) that encourages health and well-being. Balance in the diet infers that we have a starchy carbohydrate, protein and vegetable source on the dinner plate, if we can get this right and in the optimal proportions, then we have a chance!
Limiting processed food and drink is critical to health and well-being also, and a concerted effort to maintain a healthy weight is important when trying to maintain health and well-being.
Itv News, (2015). Charity: 1 in 2 to get cancer. Retrieved 6th February, 2015, from http://www.itv.com/news/story/2013-06-07/cancer-macmillan-cancer-support-uk-diagnosed/