Age is one of the determinants of cancer
Cancer cases stabilize in Spain. Forecasts suggest that there will be about 280,000 cases this year, a similar figure to that of the previous year. Because? In addition to the reduction in smoking in men, which can already be seen in the diagnosis of certain tumors such as lung or bladder tumors, for a sadder reason: due to the massive death of older people as a result of covid.
Age is one of the determinants of cancer. The chances of a man and a woman having cancer are similar up to the age of 60 (15% of the population up to that age can develop a tumor).
But, from the 60s to the 70s, the chances in men double (almost a third of that age group will suffer from it), reaching almost 50% at 80.
In women, the probability of having cancer is lower from the age of 60, reaching 32% of them when they are over 80. This was explained yesterday by Jaume Galceran, president of the Spanish Network of Cancer Registries (Redecan), during the presentation of the report Cancer figures in Spain 2023, prepared by the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM).
Also present at the press conference were Enriqueta Felip, president of SEOM, and Javier de Castro, secretary of the aforementioned company’s board of directors.
There are many data included in the aforementioned report, which reveal, above all, that “although in recent decades the absolute number of cancers diagnosed in Spain has increased, it has its explanation: the population increase (nine million more inhabitants since 1990 to 2022); The aging of the population; exposure to risk factors (tobacco, alcohol, pollution, obesity or a sedentary lifestyle) and, lastly, early detection of some types of cancer such as colorectal, breast, cervical or prostate cancer”, explained Galceran and Felip.
In fact, it is more than likely that another screening will be launched in the coming months, that of the lung, in which the Cassandra project is working.
Regarding cancer mortality worldwide, as with the incidence, an increase is expected in the coming years. Specifically, the figure of more than 16 million people in 2040 is considered. In Spain, it will go from 112,000 in 2020 to more than 159,000 in 2040.
Tumors were the second cause of death in 2021 (25.2% of deaths, 113,662) with an increase of 0.8% compared to the previous year and only behind diseases of the circulatory system (26.4%) . Infectious diseases (including covid) were the third cause of death, with 10.2% of the total.
But the investigation advances and the new treatments allow to gain life. Five-year survival from diagnosis continues to increase.
In the period 2008-2013, it was 55.3% in men and 61.7% in women. This difference is due to the fact that certain tumors are more frequent in one sex than in another and the stage at diagnosis.
Thus, in men, survival was 90% in prostate and testicular cancers, and 86% in thyroid cancers, compared to 7% in pancreatic cancers and 12% in lung cancers.
In women, thyroid cancer had a survival rate of 93% and breast cancer 86%, while pancreatic cancer was 10% and liver cancer 16%.
Tobacco, alcohol and obesity continue to be some of the most important and preventable risk factors related to cancer. According to the WHO, a third of cancer deaths are due to tobacco, infections, alcohol, sedentary lifestyle and inadequate diets.
Tobacco, specifically, is responsible for up to 33% of tumors and up to 22% of deaths from cancer.
Despite this, the Ministry of Health has not yet approved the comprehensive anti-smoking plan, to which it committed in 2022.
Regarding alcohol, it is estimated that, in 2020, in Spain, it has been responsible for at least 8,000 cases.
“There is no safe level of alcohol consumption,” Felip said. And he added: “It is estimated that up to 4,600 annual breast cancer cases in Europe are due to alcohol consumption of one glass of wine per day, figures that increase with greater consumption.”
Up to 4,600 cases of breast cancer each year in Europe are due to the consumption of a glass of wine a day