Scientists from the American Cancer Society found older age and smoking are the two most important risk factors linked to the risk of developing any cancer.
They also found that in addition to age and smoking history, clinicians should consider excess body fat, family history of any cancer, and several other factors that may help patients determine if they may benefit from enhanced cancer screening or prevention interventions.
The research is published in the journal Cancer and was conducted by Dr. Alpa Patel et al.
In this study, researchers analyzed data from 429,991 participants in the United States with no prior personal history of cancer and followed for cancer for up to five years.
They showed that 15,226 invasive cancers were diagnosed among participants within five years of enrolment.
They found the risk of any cancer was strongest for current smokers compared with never smokers.
In men, alcohol intake, family history of cancer, red meat consumption, and physical inactivity were also associated with risk.
In women, body mass index (BMI), type 2 diabetes, hysterectomy, parity, family history of cancer, high blood pressure, tubal ligation, and physical inactivity were linked to cancer risk.
The team also found that five-year risk exceeded 2% among nearly all people greater than 50 years old and among some people less than 50 years old including current or former smokers and long-term nonsmokers with a BMI greater than 25 or a first-degree family history of cancer.
The five-year risk was as high as 29% in men and 25% in women.
The team says as scientists consider the possibility that future tests may be able to identify several types of cancer, they need to begin understanding who is most at risk for developing any type of cancer.
These types of data are not widely available, but necessary to inform future screening options, such as blood-based multi-cancer early detection tests that could help save lives.
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