Nearly half of global cancer deaths can be attributed to preventable risk factors, new study finds


“To our knowledge, this study represents the largest effort to date to determine the global burden of cancer attributable to risk factors, and it contributes to a growing body of evidence aimed at estimating national, international and country-specific cancer risk Chris Murray, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and his colleagues in the study.

The project collects and analyzes global data on death and disability. Murray and his colleagues focused on cancer death and disability in 204 countries from 2010 to 2019, examining 23 cancer types and 34 risk factors.

The researchers found that in terms of global risk-attributable deaths in 2019, the leading cancers were tracheal, bronchial and lung cancers in both men and women.

The data also showed an upward trend in cancer deaths due to risk globally between 2010 and 2019, increasing by 20.4%. Globally, in 2019, the top five regions for mortality due to risk were Central Europe, East Asia, South America, Latin America and Western Europe.

“These results highlight that a significant portion of the global cancer burden may be prevented by interventions to prevent known cancer risk factors, but a significant portion of the cancer burden may not be preventable by controlling for currently estimated risk factors,” the researchers wrote. . “Efforts to reduce cancer risk must therefore be coupled with comprehensive cancer control strategies, including efforts to support early diagnosis and effective treatment.”

The new study “clearly describes” the importance of primary cancer prevention and “the increasing number of obesity-related cancers clearly requires our attention,” said Dr. William Dahout, scientific director of the American Cancer Society, who was not involved in the new study. Research. study. , wrote in an email to CNN.

“Behavioural change could save millions of lives, vastly exceeding the effects of any approved drug,” he wrote, adding that “despite an approximately 65-year association with cancer, the persistent effects of tobacco remain highly problematic.” .

Even though tobacco use in the U.S. is lower than in other countries, tobacco-related cancer deaths remain a major problem and disproportionately impact some states, Dahut wrote.

Study finds prolonged sitting increases cancer risk
Posted earlier this month in international journal of cancer, found that the estimated proportion of cancer deaths among adults aged 25 to 79 due to smoking in 2019 ranged from 16.5% in Utah to 37.8% in Kentucky. Estimated total lost revenue from cancer deaths due to smoking ranged from $32.2 million in Wyoming to $1.6 billion in California.

“Furthermore, it’s no secret that alcohol consumption, along with dramatic increases in median BMI, will lead to massive preventable cancer deaths,” Dahut added. “Finally, as we move towards a world where screening is based on accuracy and adaptability, cancer screening is especially important for high-risk populations. »

exist Editorial published alongside new research In The Lancet, Dr Diana Sarfati and Jason Gurney of the Te Aho o Te Kahu Cancer Facility in New Zealand write that avoidable risk factors associated with cancer are often identified in terms of poverty.

“Poverty affects the environments in which people live, and those environments shape the lifestyle decisions people are able to make. Actions to prevent cancer require concerted efforts both within and outside the health sector. This includes actions aimed at reducing exposure to cancer-causing risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol consumption), and access to vaccines to prevent cancer-causing infections, including hepatitis B and HPV,” Sarfati and Gurney wrote.

“Preventing primary cancer by eradicating or mitigating modifiable risk factors is our best hope for reducing the burden of cancer in the future,” they wrote. “Reducing this burden will improve health and well-being, and reduce the cumulative human impact and financial resource pressures within cancer services and the wider health sector.»

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