Why is cancer getting younger?
In early February, World Cancer Day is celebrated annually. Is it possible to protect oneself from this terrible disease, which categories of citizens are at risk, why the number of cancer patients is growing every year, and the disease is getting younger – Moscow oncologist R. Vostretsov answered these and many other questions from a Medpulse correspondent.
– What are the statistics of oncological diseases for 2012 and 2013? How much has the number of cancer patients increased and patients with damage to which organs most often go to medical facilities?
– Over the past six years, the incidence in Moscow has increased by 10%, in 2013, 38 thousand Muscovites first discovered a malignant tumor. In Moscow, breast cancer comes first, colon and small intestine cancer comes second, then skin cancer, lung cancer, etc. Indeed, lung cancer, when I first became an oncologist, came first, now it has gone down.
– Maybe there is some kind of general analysis that immediately reveals whether a person has cancer or not?
– There is no analysis that would immediately detect the presence of cancer. Especially in the initial stages. There are separate tests for tumor markers that can highlight certain types of cancer, but this happens at fairly common stages. But there is no general analysis. In fact, what is popularly called cancer, there are more than a hundred different species. For example, only in the mammary gland there can be about ten types of tumors.
See also: Heart disease and blood type. What depends on what?
– Oncological diseases are terribly younger. Why? And there is an opinion that cancer is a psychosomatic disease. What do you think about it?
– Really younger. No one has yet canceled the polyetiological theory of cancer, according to which there are harmful substances that cause cell changes and the growth of a malignant tumor. For example, they noticed that chimney skin cancer is common in chimney sweeps in the Baltic states. When they began to understand, it turned out that soot got there, and when soot often gets on the skin of the scrotum, it can cause changes in cells and skin cancer. There are other examples – phenyl production causes bladder cancer, etc.
But we also have a defense system – immunity, which kills everything foreign that enters the body: microbes, alien cells, and also our cells if they have changed a lot. Therefore, on the one hand, there is external influence from the outside, and on the other hand, everything that weakens the body’s defenses increases the severity of the disease. Therefore, I can’t say that cancer is a psychosomatic disease, but, on the other hand, any stress indirectly affects the weakening of the body. Why cancer is getting younger, I can’t say. Previously, there was a cancer that was only in young people – a bone tumor, for example. Why so hard to say. The intensity of life, stress, ecology – all this, of course, affects.
– In medical TV shows, they often talk about foods that you need to eat in order not to get cancer (for example, tomatoes). Does this really help, and if so, which products do you recommend?
– There are no special products that help against cancer. There should be a normal varied diet. The diet should include fruits, herbs, vegetables, proteins – especially fish (Professor Trapeznikov once said: “In order not to get cancer, you need to enter the second fish day”). Diversify the diet. And less animal fats.
– Is there a clear list of procedures that people must go through after 40 years in order to detect possible oncology at an early stage?
– The fact is that women and men have different procedures. It depends on the most common tumors: in men – cancer of the stomach, lungs and prostate gland; in short, these are procedures such as colonoscopy and gastroscopy. In women, mammography, an examination of gynecologists, an X-ray of the lungs, and also gastroscopy. There is no clear list, you need to see a doctor. He will tell everything.
– There is an opinion that every person can have cancer, but not everyone survives. Is it true that if a person looks 10-15 years younger than his age, then oncology ignores him?
– In a sense, probably so. If a person looks younger, then he has normal immune defenses and the rate of tumor development is lower, but this is my personal opinion.
– And is it true that dark-haired people have a significantly lower risk of developing skin cancer than fair-haired ones?
– Tanning is a protective reaction of the body against harsh ultraviolet irritation. In humans, cells multiply that contain melatonin, which does not allow ultraviolet radiation to penetrate the body. Therefore, any tan does not bring benefits. It is proved that a large amount of ultraviolet radiation increases the likelihood of melanoma. About the color of the hair – I do not know. There are no scientific works. You can sunbathe, but not for long, preferably up to 11 hours.