I have been working with people diagnosed with cancer over 2 decades now and I can safely say that the patient demographics have changed.
The patients I see in clinic or the ward have remained about the same, but they are getting younger. Even a few years ago, we would see a young woman in clinic and everyone would feel really sad for her. We now routinely see really young women in the clinic – there are a few patients now who are still in their 20s.
Something has changed. Something is making people get cancer earlier in life. Something is making people’s cell mutate and cause havoc with their lives.
Is it is the genetics? Is it the food we are eating? Is it our lifestyle? Is it the excessive radiation around us? Is our environment getting worse? Is the pollution driving the cancer?
I do not know the answer, but what I do know is that my patients are getting younger and younger. It is devastating to them, their families and their care-givers (including us as their medical care-givers).
We need to work harder to prevent cancer and if we do not succeed in preventing it, then treat it really well to cure them.