It is an uncomfortable truth, but a truth that must be said: cancer is a widespread disease. In Germany, around half a Million people are diagnosed each year. For patients, a time of hope and waiting, and the exclusion begins after the diagnosis often. Because, although cancer affects statistically, every second people in the course of his life, the disease is still a taboo. From uncertainty to some friends or Acquaintances. And also family members plagues of doubt: Must, can, should I talk to the patient about the cancer?
World cancer day has accepted the Minister of health, Jens Spahn of the topic. Actually, a laudable gesture. He tweeted: “Everyone can start his personal battle against cancer today. How? So: Not (or no longer) Smoking, more exercise, a healthy diet and the skin from UV-radiation (sun cream)!”
For his words he had been much criticized – and for good reason. Because of the nature of cancer, the health Minister with his Tweet.
Cancer is a preventable Evil?
With his Tweet, Spahn suggests that cancer is a lifestyle choice, and presents it as an avoidable Evil. However, the reasons for the emergence of cancer cells are much more complex – a family history can also play a role, such as environmental toxins or spontaneous mutations in the genome, a freak of nature. When body cells divide, they sometimes error in the genetic information – without any apparent risk factors. In General, these errors from dying cells. However, if you manage to divide, cancer can develop.
Of course Spahn is right when he writes that cancer is through a healthy life style, prevention. This is only true for a certain proportion of cancer-new cases. The German cancer research center (Deutsches krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) has conducted in the last year, an investigation and came to the conclusion: in Germany, 37 percent of the annual cancer cases on account of avoidable risk factors. Smoking is one of almost 20 per cent to be the biggest risk factor, followed by unhealthy eating habits, Overweight, lack of exercise, infections, high alcohol consumption and environmental factors such as fine dust, and passive Smoking. The influence of natural UV-radiation could not be calculated due to the data situation.
Some cancers can be prevented before they occur – for example, with a colonoscopy. Is in addition taken into account the Potential of these measures, the proportion of avoidable cancer cases, according to experts, at least 50 percent.
Every second case of Cancer is preventable. Or in other words: Every second it is not.
This means: it is Estimated that every second case of Cancer in Germany is not due to a healthy life style and prevention of potentially avoid – the other 50 percent. It is true that cancer can be a question of lifestyle. But that is not for every case of disease and for each patient.
Cancer can also affect children. People who had never before had a cigarette in Hand, and in the summer holidays is always well protected. Doctors. A top athlete. Prevention is important and right. But it must not lead to a showing with index finger on the sick, and warn: ‘you’d have done more.’
Jens Spahn has apologized now for his tips. There is nothing sun him, also, to play down as a cancer, or to give the Diseased a share of the blame, he shared via Twitter.
Some topics are too big, too complex and too important to squeeze them in 184 characters. Cancer is one of these topics.