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Thendir

Diseases? more now?

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Ok well basically what Im asking is do ye think that diseases (by diseases I mean the likes of Cancer, tumors heart conditions and other major health problems that become fatal) are becoming more prevelant or that we simply didnt know about them before now?

 

I am constantly hearing of young people (20-60) dying of illnesses such as cancer and really this particular disease is rampant im my country (Ireland). I cannot understand how my parents never really knew about such illness as children (acknoweldging lack of education and wider world recognition) and they tell me that "in their day" people rarly died other than old age. But now all I ever hear when people call is "so and so has cancer or leukimia or a condition"

 

What do ye think?

 

( sorry if it not wrote properly im new to this)

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"in their day" people rarly died other than old age

 

Today, die of Old Age, have just diferente names to be call !

 

Also before acidents was alot more common (like working acidents & etc.), wars was alot more common and deadly !

So, the few that survived, and get old, just die ofdiseases that at the time humanity could not diagnose and give a name to !

But is also truth that are some health problem, that have been growing alot because of new live styles, diseases like diabetes and etc.

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Cancer has been known about for thousands of years, and leukemia has been known about for over 100.

 

The difference between the time when your parents' were younger and today is that information is more accessible and disseminated better than it ever was, so you hear about things you may never heard of otherwise. Back then they may not have heard about too much stuff unless it directly affected them or was large-scale enough to be national/international news, but now you can more easily hear about things that are outside that scope.

 

Also, not everyone who dies of old age actually dies of old age. Heck, just a few years ago, one of my grandfather's died in his sleep. He was pretty old so everyone assumed the "old age" thing, but it was discovered much later that he actually died from untreated cancer.

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they tell me that "in their day" people rarly died other than old age.

I lol'd. Don't take it personally or anything but I always roll my eyes when an older generation romanticizes the past ("Oh, everything was magical back then")

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy

 

People on average in the earlier 20th century had a Life expectancy of 30-45, this is not to say people just dropped down dead at 45, it's just that people died alot more often of infectious diseases. Smallpox was still killing 2 million a year by 1959, infant mortality was more common (Ireland in particular), etc which all drove down the average length of living.

 

Today life expectancy averages around 64 because infectious diseases are largely treatable, but because so many people are living longer on the things that generally come with old age are (long term diseases) of course more prevalent. Such as Breast Cancer, the chances of which increases significantly with menopause. Or heart disease, which comes from poor diet or various other factors. Long term diseases are NOT somehow becoming more likely.

 

Long story short, less people die from short term diseases but more are dying from long term diseases just due to the fact that there are more old people.

 

Overall though, less people die in general, so the notion that somehow cancer is this new epidemic that's going to kill 50% of the population is utter nonsense.

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Oh Ok I understand what you mean

 

and i lol too every time I get the in my day speech

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Here's my view of modern disease:

1. Modern science lets us classify all reasons for death

2. We die less of accidents, starvation, and other external causes of death, so biological death (disease and organ failure) seem more prevalent

3. Human DNA is degenerating due to natural mutation

 

Reason one is biggest - the reason so many people seem to die of disease is because we have classified so many diseases. You will never read that someone died of old age in an obituary, anymore. You'll always get the specifics - died of heart failure, died of liver failure, died of stroke.

 

Reason two adds to reason one - we're not dying of phyiscal harm in the modern world. There isn't widespread starvation, there aren't epidemics of smallpox and plague, there aren't a dozen wars between feudal fiefdoms going on at once. Since we're not dying of external causes, we have to die in other ways, such as cardiac arrest and organ failure.

 

Reason three is mainly related to cancer and the success of modern medicine. Humans are mutating, our DNA is slowly degrading over the generations. Cancer is just mutated flesh, so if we're mutated to begin with it won't take much to set off our cells to multiply unrestrained. I think a big reason cancer is more prevalent in the modern world is not only because of awareness (we can diagnose it as cancer, not just "old age"), but because of medicine more human mutations are surviving, where otherwise they would disappear when they could not live long enough to pass on mutated traits.

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