Climate change usually refers to the global shift in weather patterns that occurs over a long period of time.
Researchers say that climate change might increase the risk of cancers because of the rising temperatures, wildfires, and poor air quality. There is a higher chance for lung, skin, and gastrointestinal cancer.
Since the mid- 20th century, skin cancer incidence rates have been rising gradually. A study was published in the journal The Lancet Oncology. In this study, the researchers have provided a synopsis of future effects of global warming on major cancers because of air pollution, environmental toxins, and ultraviolet radiation.
There are several factors that determine the risk of cancers. Climate change and global warming continue to impose a negative influence on skin cancer for many decades. Reducing Global warming might actually help prevent skin cancer.
Lead author Robert A Hiatt from the University of California, San Francisco in the US said, “In the worldwide battle to mitigate climate change, the international community is not on track to slow emissions of greenhouse gases.
There is a large impact on health because of climate change and it is expected to grow without appropriate action. Poor air quality and high temperatures might lead to higher rates of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
This sudden change of warmer temperatures and changing rainfall patterns can raise the risk and spread of vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue.
Extreme weather events might cause death, injury, and displacement. This might also disrupt the health care system required for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and care, the authors mentioned.
There is a prediction that cancer is the leading cause of death in the 21st century. Many of the authors suggested that the air pollution, disruption in food and water supply are considered to be the major reasons that are likely to be responsible for biggest cancer threats. Lung cancer is one of the primary causes of cancer deaths worldwide. It is expected to increase as a result of these threats. 15 percent more new cases are estimated to be reported. Worldwide, there were a total of 24.5 million cancer cases and 9.6 million deaths have been reported.
Many researchers suggest a comprehensive modelling study that predicted more than half a million climate-related deaths worldwide, including cancer deaths which are a result of changes in food supply by 2050. The World bank suggests that climate change will push back around 100 million people to poverty by 2030.
“ COVID-19 has shown us the importance of science and public health”, said Beyeler. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a clear example of the disruptions that took place in the infrastructure of health care systems for cancer control, which can affect all types of cancers. The fear and the shifting medical resources caused patients to delay cancer screening.
Weather events such as floods and storms might destroy or damage healthcare infrastructure. This might lead to power shortages, disrupted supply chains, and shortage of staff.
It might take years to truly understand the impact on climate change on cancer. Reducing the pollution deaths from lung cancer could decline. There are several clinical, behavioral, and policy solutions that could slow climate change and eventually prevent cancer cases and deaths.