Recent findings published in the CA(Cancer Journal for Clinicians) state that cancer is emerging as the leading killer among Hispanics in the US. Heart disease, the previous front-runner is being left behind, by the emerging cancer cases. The non- Hispanic population may just have little bit of time more, but perhaps not too much. Rebecca Siegel, of the American Cancer Society and the lead author of the study told TIME,
The rest of the country may not be far behind, probably in the next 10 years.
Not every one is in agreement with the conservative figure quoted by Siegel, for government health statisticians opine that cancer may perhaps overtake heart disease and become the leading killer in the immediate future: the next two to three years.
Why has heart diseases fallen behind? Well, that is mainly because of improved medication and treatment. For eg., statin drugs that lower cholesterol, have been of immense help in treating heart patients.
Unlike heart disease, cancer unfortunately tends to kill more people in the prime of their lives. Why are Hispanics more susceptible than the rest? One of the reasons is because demographically Hispanics are younger than the blacks and the non-Hispanics in US. One of the largest and fastest ethnic groups growing in the US are the Hispanics.
Does cancer pose an immediate risk? Does one need to buckle up, as they say? Well, yes, it is always better to be forewarned, any day than be completely clueless. Statics show that age 65 and above is when, most heart diseases occur. A major chunk of the Hispanic population is under 55: so as you can see, there is a need for urgency.
Had the Hispanic-people profile been older, like it is in Mexico, the risk factor from cancer would not be so severe. As per the 2009 Pan American Health Organization statistics, in Mexico (where there are much older Hispanics), the leading killer is diabetes, and not cancer.
Is it just in the US, that cancer is becoming a leading killer? No, a recent report, published in a leading Indian magazine shares figures of how infantile cancer (cancer among kids) is gaining ground in India.
What does this mean to common folk, who would rather not know about depressive mortality figures? Well, it is time we shift focus, and if possible introduce small positive changes in our lifestyles, so as to enjoy fuller and healthier days.
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