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by Rohini Hiremath

Leading heart disease in Europe has dropped to second place behind Cancer. This makes Cancer has led the cause of death in 12 Western European countries. In the 53 countries defined as the European region by the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease killed more than 4 million people in 2016. Those deaths accounted for 45 percent of all deaths in those nations. Cancer accounted for less than half the number of deaths from heart disease in Europe as a whole.

According to the European Heart Journal, 12 countries includes Belgium, Denmark, France, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The highest numbers of deaths from Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) tend to be seen in Eastern European countries. According to few data—in France, where cancer was first seen to overtake CVD as the main cause of death in men, figures from the most recent year available (2011) show that—92,375 men died from cancer and 64,659 died from CVD. Whereas in Spain, the next country in which cancer overtook CVD, 67,711 men died from cancer and 53,487 died from CVD in 2013. In the UK in 2013, 87,511 men died from cancer and 79,935 from CVD.

While till there are been no appropriate reason for why—Cancer is growing so fast. But, there has been little progress in Europe in the prevention and treatment of CVD. But, it’s limited only to few parts. The progress has been made in Western EU. However, Western Europe has major CVD population.

If we look worldwide, according to WHO, CVD remains the leading cause of death, which kills an estimated 17 million people every year. Whereas, in 2012, 1.75 million deaths occurred from cancer in Europe. The most common cancer sites were cancers of the female breast (464,000 cases), followed by colorectal (447,000), prostate (417,000) and lung.

Cancer Research UK, gives an insight about the growing problem of cancer by figuring it—the biggest risk factor for most cancers is simply getting older. It says that more than three-quarters of all people diagnosed with cancer in the UK are over the age of 60.

And this is because cancer is a disease of genes – the bits of DNA code that hold the instructions for all of the microscopic machinery inside body cells. Over time, mistakes accumulate in this code – scientists can now see them stamped in cancer’s DNA. And it’s these mistakes that can kick start a cell’s journey towards becoming cancerous.

Causes of Cancer includes lifestyle, genetics and family history. Also, people’s exposure to viruses, the job, the air we breathe – and they can all play different roles in our overall risk of developing the disease.

Comparing the Cancer problem on biases of gender, Men are more likely to develop cancer then women. Each year 179,000 men receive a cancer diagnosis, compared with 17,300 women. A study of over 2,300 people with 15 different cancers found that men were most likely to delay going to the doctor. Yet the fact remains that if a woman found a lump she would most likely seek urgent medical advice, while if the same happens to a man, all too often he will ignore it.

The growing cancer disease is definitely a major concern for Europeans, but the question is— Are most of the people able to cure it?