Future Antiaging treatments and the case of vaccines against viruses that cause cancer

Life Extension and Antiaging Debates

Frequently in debates and discussions about life extension there is the complaint that the poor people will not get the treatments or that there will be protests when treatments available to the wealthy are not made available to the poor.

There is the potential for vaccines to treat the viruses that cause up to 20% of cancers poorer countries. Yet there are not huge protests in the streets of poor countries demanding the availability of these life saving and life extending treatments. Vaccines to prevent cancer causing viruses would prevent almost as many cancers.

Even in developed countries not everyone avails themselves of the vaccinations that would prevent a significant cancer. Cost is mostly not a factor. Even without subsidies the cost is about $100-375. There is now a new program to make the anti-HPV vaccine that would prevent 70% of cervical cancer available for $4.50 for people in the developing world.

The World Health Organization lays out the statistics on cancer.

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008.

Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each year.

The most frequent types of cancer differ between men and women.

About 30% of cancer deaths are due to the five leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use.

Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer causing 22% of global cancer deaths and 71% of global lung cancer deaths.

Cancer causing viral infections such as HBV/HCV and HPV are responsible for up to 20% of cancer deaths in low- and middle-income countries.
About 70% of all cancer deaths in 2008 occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

Lifestyle changes and vaccinations could prevent up to 50% of cancer deaths.

lung (1.37 million deaths)
stomach (736 000 deaths)
liver (695 000 deaths)
colorectal (608 000 deaths)
breast (458 000 deaths)
cervical cancer (275 000 deaths)

If better early detection could be developed then it would be affordable and effective to prevent up to 80% of all cancer deaths. Cancer that is detected early is far more survivable and the treatment of early stage cancer is far more affordable than late stage cancer treatment.

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