Junk Food Diets Blamed for Surge in Bowel Cancer Cases
In a concerning trend, bowel cancer has emerged as the third most common cancer type in England, surpassing lung cancer for the first time.
Experts attribute this rise to our diets, laden with junk food and lacking essential nutrients. With more than 41,000 diagnoses in 2021, the impact of unhealthy eating habits on cancer rates is becoming increasingly evident.
Lifestyle Factors and Alarming Increase in Cases
The surge in bowel cancer diagnoses, totaling 41,596 in 2021, marks the largest increase for any cancer type. Notably, cases rose by 11 percent among men and 9 percent among women between 2019 and 2021.
Lifestyle factors such as obesity, excessive red meat consumption, and a lack of fiber are identified as significant contributors to this concerning trend.
Campaigner’s Legacy: Dame Deborah James and Increased Testing
The late Dame Deborah James, a prominent campaigner, columnist, and podcast host, played a pivotal role in raising awareness about bowel cancer.
Her efforts inspired record numbers of people to get tested, contributing to the increased diagnosis rates. Despite her tragic passing at the age of 40, Dame Deborah’s legacy lives on, urging people not to shy away from discussing potential symptoms due to embarrassment.
Screening Expansion and Importance of Early Detection
The NHS has expanded bowel cancer screening efforts, urging adults to overcome reservations and participate in regular testing. Screening, now covering adults aged 60 to 74, is set to expand further, targeting those over 50 by 2025.
The screening process involves a home-based test, the faecal immunohistochemical test (FIT), which checks for traces of blood, a potential sign of cancer. Early detection through screening is emphasized as a crucial step in saving lives.
Bowel Cancer: A Persistent Threat and Ongoing Battle
Despite advancements in awareness and screening, bowel cancer remains the second most significant cancer killer in the UK. With over 16,500 deaths annually, the fight against this disease continues.
Cancer Research UK underscores the persistent threat, emphasizing the need for ongoing efforts to combat and understand the complexities of bowel cancer.