Cancer crisis looming as life expectancy goes up

As people are living longer, the risks of getting cancer are rising, creating concerns of a potential cancer crisis. Dr. Samuel Waxman, of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney, “Aging clearly is the major driver of cancer.”

Waxman says the data supports a link between age and the risks of getting cancer.

“If you look at the data you can actually watch the curve of cancer go up directly to age.”

With an expanding demographic of older people, Waxman expects a rise in the number of people getting cancer.

“The median age of getting cancer is 65, we’ve got 40 million people right now over the age of 65, in 2050 we’re going to have 80 million people…This is a global problem, we have a life expectancy that goes up and with that we have the increase, growing risk of getting cancer.”

Waxman sees further research as the key to understanding cancer and finding a cure.

“We have to understand what causes cancer, the complexity of it, so you have to go back to what I do in my life and that is research. Research drives cure.”

When Varney asked why we still don’t know what causes cancer, Waxman responded, “Because it’s a multiple, complex disorder.”

According to Waxman, a number of new drugs have been approved in the fight against cancer, thanks to research.

“In the past five years, 65 new types of drugs that have not been used before have been approved by the FDA to treat cancer. This is the kind of, this is the result of research that was done 20 years ago and so, without that research we wouldn’t have a real renaissance of treatment.”