World Economic Forum: Cancer Rates in Women Rising Fast

women cancer

This blog focuses on men’s health. However, the World Economic Forum has published a study showing that cancer rates in UK women are rising six times faster than men. That indicates a potential similar trend in other countries, including the U.S.

According to Sarah Allinson, Senior Lecturer, Lancaster University, “Cancer is currently more common in men than women, but due to changes in lifestyle women are catching up fast.” These are key findings from her article. Please share them with the women in your life.

  • Recent reports that cancer rates in UK women are set to rise six times faster than in men over the next two decades will have alarmed many. It is likely to be a similar story across the western world. In the US, cancer rates have been steadily decreasing in men but not in women. And although it is still the case that more men than women get cancer, the gap is narrowing.
  • The World Health Organisation has estimated that two fifths of the 14m cases of cancer that are diagnosed every year are preventable. The main preventable causes of cancer are diet, smoking and infection. Of these, diet is likely to most disproportionately affect women over the coming years.
  • It has been estimated that over half a million cancers worldwide can be directly linked to obesity and inactivity every year.
  • Rising levels of obesity have been followed by a rapid increase in the number of these cancers diagnosed. The way that being overweight drives these particular types of cancers is complicated but one of the main factors seems to be the production of the hormone estrogen by fat cells in the body.
  • Most breast and womb cancers produce a protein called the estrogen receptor that causes cancer cells to uncontrollably divide when estrogen is present in high amounts. Studies have consistently shown that breast cancer is both more common and less readily treatable in overweight women.
  • Risk of breast cancer is also increased by alcohol – the more you drink, the more likely you are to get the disease. A study published last year showed that across the world women are now drinking almost as much as men.

Read her full report: Cancer rates in women are rising six times faster than men. Here’s what we can do. Follow the World Economic Forum on Twitter @wef.