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(36,570 posts)
12. More people are living long enough to get cancer -- ironically, that's a good thing.
Wed Dec 23, 2015, 11:20 AM
Dec 2015

The rise in deaths from cancer is almost exclusively due to the fact that people are surviving other hazards for so long that the risk of getting cancer at some point in their lives is increasing -- just because their lives are longer. The actual incidence of cancer among any particular age group has been pretty constant (CAVEAT: after effects of smoking are accounted for), and dianosis and treatment have been happening earlier, which leads to improved survival rates.

I highly recommend Mukherjee's "Emperor of All Maladies", which was even made into a Ken Burns film, to get an idea of where cancer incidence and treatment stands today.

ETA: The big jump in cancer between 1900 and 1960 was almost entirely due to smoking, which had become socially acceptable even for women, and which was given a huge boost during WWI and WWII by provisioning troops with all the cigarettes they could smoke. Smoking is still responsible for about a third of all cancer deaths.

fascinating. thanks KentuckyWoman Dec 2015 #1
A member of my family (old-timey) died from "dropsy" SoCalDem Dec 2015 #2
"Dropsy" is edema, so that was probably congestive heart failure Spider Jerusalem Dec 2015 #3
that suicide is now in the top 10 is a sad commentary on our society Amishman Dec 2015 #4
The rate has actually remained steady oberliner Dec 2015 #7
It's good that the top 4 in 2010 are primarily old age illnesses FLPanhandle Dec 2015 #5
Is "senility" what they called Alzheimers in 1900? oberliner Dec 2015 #6
I think you're right - Alzheimer's only came into common use in the last few decades hatrack Dec 2015 #8
Three of my four grandparents died of infections that now can be cured with antibiotics. greatauntoftriplets Dec 2015 #9
Sad to think how many lives have been lost to what are now considered trivial infections. eppur_se_muova Dec 2015 #13
It really is sad. greatauntoftriplets Dec 2015 #16
I'm only here because of 3 deaths. OnlinePoker Dec 2015 #19
That happened quite frequently back then, unfortunately. greatauntoftriplets Dec 2015 #21
Cancer doesn't look good. mmonk Dec 2015 #10
More people are living long enough to get cancer -- ironically, that's a good thing. eppur_se_muova Dec 2015 #12
Indeed it does not look good. GeeNeeUs Dec 2015 #14
"detox" - LOL trotsky Dec 2015 #17
Alas, even your liver can be overwhelmed by synthetic toxic chemical crud GeeNeeUs Dec 2015 #18
Do you know what causes most liver cancers? trotsky Dec 2015 #20
One reason why our environmental issues only get more complicated The2ndWheel Dec 2015 #11
Lots of infectious diseases went down due to improved hygiene ... eppur_se_muova Dec 2015 #15
A useful guide would be average age of death over the years. Eleanors38 Dec 2015 #22
What, pray tell, are "nepropathies"? KamaAina Dec 2015 #23
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