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Health Forum    Cancer
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 what normal cells in the body are affected by cancer chemotherapy?

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Additional Details
No sorry im asking this question on behalf of a ...

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Why did women not get breast cancer 50 years ago?

Additional Details
Untreated breast cancer becomes very obvious, with tumors that grow larger and larger that can be seen and felt with the naket eye, pus that can come out of the nipples and so on. There just was no breast cancer 50 years ago, no records of it and I'm just wondering why we have so much of it now.

you are definitely right. this is related to the style of living. in the past people depended mainly on fresh fruits and vegetables which are scientifically proved to fight cancer as grapes, oranges , ginger, garlic , onion , sweet potatoes , cabbage , honey , dates etc. but people nowadays used to eat food that increase the free radicals in the body that cause cancer . Mainly meat, eggs, milk , cheese, fries , processed food and bad oils. in addition, the lack of exercises and the anxiety are two additional factors that can cause cancer.


Your question is a very thoughtful one. Why I feel it is a good question to ask is because, I was suddenly faced with this cruel truth of my father being diagnosed with ''renal carcinoma'' (Kidney Cancer), which has spread into his lungs, and of course my own fears of breast cancer.

I have been reading a lot, and learning a lot, talking to different people, including trying to find out something to cure dad, some miracle. I have blocked it out of my mind of a picture that will show my family without my father. So, during a lot of such conversations, specially with older people, I feel people were healthier, less exposed to pollution, less stressed, and less resorting to things that would end them with cancer (breast cancer or otherwise)

I am from India, though the languages and boundaries differ, I feel that basically the diet, lifestyle etc., would have been pretty much the same. As in, 50 years back people were more active, unlike pple cuddled up in front of the TV or the internet. There was a lot of activity, keeping them less lethargic, less resorting to junk food....everything was different..

For example..a freind of mine who went to the doctor due to irregular periods, and pains, was diagnosed with a polycystic ovary. The doctor says that usually these cases, many many years back, would come in a middle aged woman, and not in an '''early-20s'' woman. So the symptoms and ailments are increasing, while the age is very young.

My opinions are only personal, and based on talking with people around, finding and trying to learn more. Perhaps, its because of my own desperate situation and trying to help my father and just do anything to get him out of this. There should be a better, clear scientific reason for your question. Just thought I'll give you my thought.

P.S - Like the other answerers here, I truly agree that they may have had but not realised it. And the only reason is that they used to die at the age of 70s or 80s or even 90s, unlike us or our generation who have earlier death rates. Therefore, usually it was assumed to be old age, but perhaps such things did happen, not only with breast cancer, but with any type of cancer. Of course we have heard of grandmothers or grandfathers being ill, and being taken care of by our parents or their siblings..and sometimes really wishing they died due to the suffering they had. But I differ with other answerers here on one opinion, which is that the death rate 50 years ago was much lesser than now.

sue g
Did you just land on this planet?

:) Lucy (:
Who says they didn't, whats your source?

Not only did women get breast cancer 50 years ago, but the world's oldest documented case of cancer is from ancient Egypt, in 1500 BC. The details were recorded on a papyrus, documenting 8 cases of tumours occurring on the breast. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6x_the_history_of_cancer_72.asp So it is an ancient disease, not a modern one.

This document from much more recently than that - 1811 - describes a woman's mastectomy due to cancer http://www.jstor.org/pss/2928516

The first case of breast cancer I heard about personally was over forty years ago when my friend's mother had a mastectomy.

There appears to be more breast cancer these days because more cases are diagnosed due to routine screening, and because people talk much more openly about cancer. Fifty years ago, people mouthed the word rather than saying it out loud.

And of course there are more survivors to tell the tale. The number of breast cancer cases hasn't actually risen significantly in the last 20 years, and the number of deaths from it has fallen.

You need to do some research into cancer and breast cancer. It has always been around . . and feared . . look up 'the history of cancer' . . and the 'war on cancer'. It's not a new disease and unfortunately 50 years ago . . it was a death sentence for most women who got breast cancer.

American Cancer Society: The History of Cancer

Cancer is an ancient disease that has been around since the beginning. Cancer has been found in the fossilized remains of ancient humans. The earliest records of breast cancer can be found in Egyptian mummies with the comments "There is no cure".

Women definitely got breast cancer not only 50 years ago but 200 years ago as well. The second President of the United States was John Adams . . and his daughter had breast cancer . . the only treatment at that time was to remove the breast.

Jim Olson's Essay on Abigail "Nabby" Adams

The fact is that until recently most people died from cancer very quickly . . that is the main reason that Richard Nixon declared a "war on cancer" . . so many people were dying from it that he made it a top health priority to try and find a 'cure' for the disease.

"In 1970, the American people knew what they wanted -- a cure for the second-leading cause of death. President Nixon heard the voice of the people and the concerns of the medical profession. In his January 1971 State of the Union address, President Nixon made a special request for an additional $100 million to be added to the NCI budget for cancer research. In October 1971 he converted the Army's Fort Detrick, Maryland, biological warfare facility to a cancer research center. The resulting Frederick Cancer Research and
Development Center eventually became an internationally recognized laboratory for cancer and AIDS research. However, President Nixon took a much bigger step when he signed the National Cancer Act into law on December 23, 1971, declaring, "I hope in the years ahead we will look back on this action today as the most significant action taken during my Administration."

After more than three decades, the "War on Cancer," declared by President Nixon in 1971 with the enactment of the National Cancer Act, is still going on in this country. The Question is: "Are we winning the war?"

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to the question. The good news is that since Nixon's initiative, there have been incredible advances in cancer detection, prevention, and treatment. Since the mid 1990s, the cancer death rate has been decreasing steadily. As one cancer experts puts it: "It's just amazing those that are making it and are living, whereas 10 years ago these same people would not have lived."

A diagnosis of cancer once was the virtual equivalent of a death sentence. Today, nearly half of all cancer patients can expect to live for five or more years after the diagnosis of cancer."

I'm sure they did, there just wasn't the technology we have now to diagnose it

I can assure you they did. They just didn't know it.

Of course they did. It just wasn't widely discussed. That's why they have things for breast cancer "awareness". It's always been around, it's just been almost taboo to talk about until more recently.

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The researcher indicated that if the Chinese females do not step up to lose weight, the control drinking wine quantity, in the coming years, they will contract breast cancer's probability possibly largely to climb.

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