July 12, 2024

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Nearly 50% of cancer deaths worldwide can be avoided!

Nearly 50% of cancer deaths worldwide can be avoided!


New report on cancer: Nearly 50% of cancer deaths worldwide can be avoided!

 Nearly 50% of cancers worldwide are caused by preventable risks, such as smoking and drinking, according to one of the largest studies on the link between cancer burden and risk factors .

By analyzing cancer cases and deaths from more than 200 countries, researchers found that avoidable risk factors were responsible for nearly 4.5 million cancer deaths in 2019, accounting for more than 44% of global cancer deaths that year .

Smoking, drinking, and a high body mass index (BMI) — likely markers of obesity, are the biggest culprits of cancer.


New report on cancer: Nearly 50% of cancer deaths worldwide can be avoided!Cancer deaths worldwide



Rudolf Kaaks, a cancer epidemiologist at the Heidelberg Cancer Research Center in Germany, said the findings, published in the journal The Lancet, largely confirm the findings of the small study and highlight how reducing exposure to risk factors can help for the prevention of a substantial proportion of cancers .

The take-home message was simple: “Don’t smoke,” says Kaaks, “don’t be overweight, and don’t drink too much.” A press review of the study was published Aug. 31 in the international journal Nature.


New report on cancer: Nearly 50% of cancer deaths worldwide can be avoided!



Heavy burden

The true number of cancer cases and deaths worldwide is difficult to determine because some countries do not record the data, said study co-lead author Justin Lang, an epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency of Canada in Ottawa.

To overcome this, Lang and his colleagues used data from a study that looked at death and disability from more than 350 diseases and injuries in 204 countries. From these data, they estimated the impact of 34 risk factors on poor health and death from 23 cancers.


New report on cancer: Nearly 50% of cancer deaths worldwide can be avoided!


In 2019, half of all cancer deaths in men and more than one-third of all cancer deaths in women were due to preventable risk factors, including tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diet, unsafe sex, and workplace exposure to asbestos, among others Hazardous products.

From 2010 to 2019, global cancer deaths due to these risk factors increased by about 20%, with being overweight accounting for the largest percentage of the increase—especially in low-income countries.


“These results, combined with local knowledge, may help policymakers identify which modifiable risk factors to target in cancer control planning efforts,” said study co-author, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle. said program officer Kelly Compton.

Smoke-free policies, increased tobacco taxes and advertising bans have been shown to be effective in reducing smoking exposure, and similar efforts have been suggested to help reduce excessive drinking, said co-senior author Lisa Force, who studies cancer burden and health indicators at the University of Washington. 




Future research

The study did not include some other known risk factors for cancer, including exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and certain infections.

This is despite researchers using “unsafe sex” as a proxy for cancer risk associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) and other sexually transmitted viruses.

Cervical cancer is caused by certain strains of HPV and is the leading cause of cancer death among women in sub-Saharan Africa.

“There, with timely HPV vaccination, a significant portion of cancer incidence and mortality in women could be reduced,” Kaaks said.


The team may continue to analyze risk factors including infection and exposure to UV radiation in future studies, and once more data, such as exposure levels to these factors, can be used, said Jonathan Kocarnik, who is building at IHME Global Cancer Burden Model.


Future work could help assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer cases and deaths.

A 2020 study estimates that by 2025 there will be more than 3,000 avoidable cancer deaths in England due to delays in the diagnosis of COVID-19.

In some regions, the pandemic may have changed the way people are exposed to certain risk factors: For example, workplace exposure to hazardous products may have decreased during lockdowns, Kocarnik said.

However, he added, “potential changes in risk factor exposure and impact on future cancer burden may take many years to fully understand”.










New report on cancer: Nearly 50% of cancer deaths worldwide can be avoided!

(source:internet, reference only)

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