In 2016, approximately 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S., and more than 595,690 Americans will die from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute. It is thought that the most common cancers to be diagnosed this year will be:
- Breast cancer
- Lung and bronchus cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Colon and rectum cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Melanoma of the skin
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Thyroid cancer
- Kidney and renal pelvis cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
The National Cancer Institute goes on to note that approximately 39.6 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes, and national expenditures for cancer care in the U.S. are estimated to total $156 billion by 2020.
New research reported on in The New York Times points to the fact that lifestyle choices are more important than genetics when it comes to developing cancer. Though a person might have genetic risk factors for cancer, it is their lifestyle choices that will activate certain genes and allow cancer to develop.
Cancer isn’t something that appears out of nowhere; it develops over many years, as a result of the combined effects of daily lifestyle choices. Sugar consumption is being highlighted as playing a large role in the activation of cancer genes – with sugary drinks in particular believed to fuel the growth of cancer cells.
Sugar and cancer
As reported by The New York Times, the new study found that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to an increased risk of endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women. This is the first study to find the same association between sugar and cancer as exists between sugar and Type 2 diabetes.
The study, published online in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, has found that all sugars increase the risk for Type 1 endometrial cancer – but sweetened drinks have the biggest impact of all. Those who were in the highest 20 percent for sweet drink consumption had a 74 percent higher risk of developing cancer than those in the lowest 20 percent.
Compared with most other dietary sugars, sugars in drinks cause plasma glucose levels to rise higher and fall lower, and it is thought that these fluctuations may play a role in the increased risk of cancer. But this isn’t the first time that sugar has been linked to cancer. Using MRI scanners to look for glucose, a study published in Nature Medicine found that glucose causes tumors to light up brightly as they contain high sugar levels. Tumors consume much more glucose than normal tissue due to their abnormally elevated metabolism levels – so sugar actually feeds cancer cells and helps them to grow.
This perhaps explains why those who drink sweetened drinks on a regular basis are much more likely to develop cancer than those who don’t; the sugar they are consuming feeds the growth of tumor cells. As reported by Natural News, sugar creates an acidic environment in the body that allows tumors to thrive. It also causes inflammation in the body. Eliminating refined sugar from your diet can help to reduce your chances of developing cancer.