Why are cancer mortality rates rising?

Cancer is the second leading disease that caused a high number of casualties in the world. Cancer happens when the abnormal cells grow uncontrollably and spread to another part of the organs in the body. Find a doctor can help you to gain more insight into understanding cancer to raise awareness and the importance to reduce cancer rates by tailoring preventative measures. In 2018, there were 18.1 million cases and 9.5 million cancer deaths that have been reported worldwide. In Malaysia, 49,000 people were estimated to be diagnosed with cancer and figuratively expected to rise more than 66,000 new cases annually by 2030. This situation is worrying because the treatments are lesser or to no avail as a late diagnosis. There are many factors that contribute to the high mortality rates among cancer patients. The following are the possible reasons:

 1. Gene mutation

Cancer is a genetic disease that causes due to faulty genetic code in the DNA. Genetic code holds all the information that makes a human being. Any changes to only one base pair can cause abnormality to the cells and disturb the whole system. A person can inherit the genetic changes from their parents. The genetic changes may also develop due to genetic errors of DNA repair Fmechanism during the cell division at molecular levels. Mutations may arise due to mistakes such as mismatch, deletion, insertion, or translocation of the base pairs. External factors such as environmental exposure to toxins, radiation, or pollutants can cause damage to the DNA. Mutations that cause the abnormality to the genes called oncogenes have the potential to cause cancer. Oncogenes trigger the cell to grow uncontrollably and finally form cancer and tumors. Changes in tumor suppressor genes, which are normally involved in cellular growth, can trigger the growth of cancerous tumors.

2. Metastasis

Metastasis is a phenomenon in which the cancer cells spread from the primary tumor to the surrounding tissues, organs, and other parts of the body. It has been a primary cause of cancer morbidity and mortality rates. There were numerous publications have mentioned metastases are estimated to be responsible for 90% of cancer deaths. Metastasis typically arises when the cancer cells break out of the original tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system. These systems move fluids across the body. This means that the cancer cells can migrate far from the initial tumor and generate new cancer cells when they reach different parts of the body. A cancer cell that spread to other parts of the organ is called malignant, a secondary tumor but carries a similar name as the original. For example, breast cancer that spreads to the liver is called metastatic breast cancer. Despite the fact that metastasis is the primary cause of cancer therapy failure and mortality, it remains poorly understood.

3. Lifestyle

Environmental factors such as smoking cigarettes, alcohol consumption, and changes in dietary patterns have been contributing factors to the significantly high number of death rates among cancer patients. The number of people who are obese is associated with the risk of developing cancer. In Malaysia, obesity is second behind smoking which has been linked to cancer, and Malaysia was described as the “most obese” country in Southeast Asia with a 17.7 % of obesity rate and 30% of the overweight population. According to the National Cancer Institute, an obese individual has two to four times the risk of getting endometrial and esophageal cancers. The number keeps on increasing every year if no intervention plans from the medical professionals with improved medical facilities to raise awareness among the citizens and extended their postreproductive life span. Besides that, urbanization has been said to be determining factor that can change the genetic makeup of the DNA and leads to cancer. There is a possibility for the cancer cells to metabolize to the other cells in the body, thus causing tissue damage. Therefore, immediate and intensive treatments for cancer patients are important to prevent death rates.