First, we now live much longer than fifty, and even more so a hundred years ago. Many did not live to the "age of cancer" before.
Secondly, cancer has not been diagnosed before as it is now. From what a person died, it was not always possible to understand.
Third, natural selection worked. Infant mortality was high - weak babies simply did not survive. The survivors had good immunity.
Anya, this is a truly priceless question. So I would like to know the answer to it. Why are so many good people dying? Unclear. Perhaps it's all about bad habits, or perhaps genetics is to blame. In any case, you just won't get sick of them. And the question is really necessary and interesting.
First of all, because so few began to get sick and die from many other diseases. The likelihood of oncology increases quite strongly simply from the aging process, when, when copying DNA for cell division, parts of the DNA itself begin to be discarded (this is how the division process works with a linear molecular structure, nothing can be done).
Some bad habits acquired by mankind over the past 4-5 hundred years (especially smoking nicotine), the development of the chemical (especially the petrochemical industry), the massive use of nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture and imperfection of modern car engines.
There are many more minor reasons, but it would take a long time to list them.
Is this some kind of epidemic? What is the reason?