Incidence rates of most types of cancer have not risen significantly for decades - there has been no sudden increase, no sudden 'spike'. And survival rates have never been higher - FEWER people, not more, are dying of cancer.
Them's the facts. People claiming that there has been a sudden huge increase in cancer rates are paople who know nothing about cancer and have done no research on the subjuect.
There are several reasons why you hear more about cancer today:
Cancer is not a modern disease, it's an ancient one that predates humankind. Evidence of cancerous tumours have been found on the fossil remains of dinosaurs, the origin of the word cancer is credited to the Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC), the world's oldest documented case of cancer is from ancient Egypt in around 1500 BC, while the oldest available specimen of a human cancer is found in the remains of skull of a female who lived during the Bronze Age (1900-1600 BC).
One reason you hear so much about it is that there are many more people who survive cancer than ever before, so you meet more people who've had it
Another reason it seems more common now is that people are more open about it. I remember a time when most people would mouth the word 'cancer' rather than saying it aloud. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer as a young man in the early 1950s his mother was mortified as she associated cancer with dirt. You can bet she didn't tell her friends and neighbours that her son had cancer, the way a mother would now.
And celebrities and public figures who develop cancer are quite open about it now, giving interviews and allowing pictures of themselves with bald heads; they wouldn't have done that 30 years ago, even 10 years ago.
We have the internet now, and countless radio and TV channels; when I was growing up there was no internet, and in the UK only 2 TV channels and 3 radio stations. Access to information about cancer is so much more readily available now, so it seems that cancer is more prevalent
.Above all, people are living longer, and cancer is mainly a disease of ageing - the overwhelming majority of people diagnosed with cancer are over 60. More people living into old age means more elderly people getting cancer. Average life expectancy in the west is late 70s/early 80s. In the early 20th century average life expectancy in the US was 47. The majority of people died from other diseases before they were old enough to be at risk of most types of cancer.
So to to the extent that cancer rates have risen, it's because of better health care; people are living long enough to get cancer.