Cancer Death Rate Drops!

Cancer death rate drops

Cancer Death Rate Drops!

The word “cancer” may bring a fear response to many of our readers. Maybe we have all known of a grandfather or grandmother, an uncle or aunt, or even someone from our immediate family who contracted cancer in one of its varied forms.

We all know that cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Other countries of the world may differ, depending on what is common in their locations and with their people. In the distant past, cancer in America was relatively rare—at least this is the conclusion of historians and physiologists. But by twenty-five years ago, cancer became “the great killer,” after heart disease.

A recent article in the local newspaper has highlighted interesting facts about this dread disease. The article says that the cancer rate was increasing until the early 1990s but it has been dropping since that time. In fact, it has fallen 27 percent from 1991 until 2016! One of the chief reasons for this drop has been the rather dramatic drop in lung cancer! People would die of this disease, especially men, because of the high rate of smoking among males earlier in the 20th century.

The article says that the death rate for cancer dropped 50 percent among men since 1991. Smoking began to decline in the 1960s. Until that time, ads for tobacco could be found on television, even with physicians telling us that smoking “tastes” so good and is good for one’s health! These lies became apparent by the 1960s, thus more and more people discontinued the fleshly and filthy habit of tobacco use.

Cancer does remain the second leading cause of death. The American Cancer Society says that they expect some 1.7 million new cases of cancer this year, with some 600,000 deaths from this disease. Why the cancer increase? Obesity has become a cause of some cancer increase. “Of the most common types of cancer in the U.s., all the ones with increasing death rates are linked to obesity, including cancers of the pancreas and uterus. Another is liver cancer.” Prostate cancer remains a leading cause of cancer death in America.

It is good to remind ourselves that some two-thirds of cancer is preventable through our lifestyle (diet, exercise, etc.). Lung cancer generally (but not always) is linked to tobacco use and this is a fleshly and sinful habit. Obesity, of course, is often (but not always) related to sinful indulgence of the wrong foods and too much of it. Some occupational cancer risks are well-known and preventable. All of this shows that if we repent thoroughly—regarding our sin before a holy God—we might be able to prevent or overcome many of the cases of cancer in the United States. Further, if other countries were to repent and begin to practice good health principles, at least some of the cancer in those countries could likewise be eliminated.

Let us be like the man described in Proverbs 27:12: “A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naïve proceed and pay the penalty.” Do we see the “evil” cancer epidemic and “hide” ourselves from it? Do we “proceed” and “pay the penalty” of having some deadly form of cancer? Let us determine to be wise, by the grace and power of God!

–Richard Hollerman

(See “US cancer death rate hits milestone: 25 years of decline, report says,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, January 9, 2019.)

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