VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There are growing concerns in this province about our aging baby boomers as doctors are seeing an increase in the number of cancer cases within that specific demographic. Obesity is one factor, but their age is the other driving force behind the uptick.
“It’s becoming more common from the point of view that our population is aging quite rapidly in British Columbia. And as we know cancer is a disease that tends to be diagnosed in older people, so we’re seeing a rise in both cancer cases as well as cancer deaths.”
The most common form of the disease in men is prostate, colorectal and lung. While he adds for women it’s breast, lung and colorectal as well.
“On average, we see that the cancer rate is staying fairly stable. What really is driving the increase in this number of cases and deaths is that aging, and in British Columbia entering that period where we have the most seniors we’ve ever had in our history and that will keep going.”
He adds keeping a healthy lifestyle is one preventative measure just like getting regular check-ups and getting tested.
“In British Columbia we do have favourable risk factors for cancer compared to some other places in the country. We’re expecting about 9,000 people to die of cancer in the province this year and about 2,300 of those are lung cancer deaths — that’s a very preventable cancer. We see that it still represents about one-quarter of all cancer deaths, so I think lifestyle still has a significant impact.”
“Another one is with rising obesity rates, we are seeing a slight rise in some cancer, like uterine cancer, and it has been linked to obesity. These are all cancers that we have to work at with prevention.
This year, the agency predicts there will be nearly 27,000 new cases in BC. “[Cancer] touches everyone. I think everyone in our province has probably had someone affected by cancer.”
In Canada, BC is one of the leading research hubs working on a cure.