Scientists from the University of Washington found that almost half of cancer cases over the world can be traced back to a known risk factor, and tobacco or alcohol are the main causes.
They suggest that lifestyle changes could help reduce the threat of cancer worldwide.
In the study, researchers analyzed the impact of 34 risk factors for cancer.
They confirmed what is already widely known—that tobacco is by far the biggest risk factor for cancer, accounting for 33.9 percent of cases, followed by alcohol with 7.4 percent.
The team found more than half of all male cancer deaths were attributable to such risk factors, and over a third of female deaths.
And since the leading risk factors contributing to the global cancer burden in 2019 were behavioral, the team suggests that reducing exposure to these modifiable risk factors would decrease cancer mortality worldwide.
They say the burden of cancer remains an important public health challenge that is growing in magnitude around the world.
Smoking continues to be the leading risk factor for cancer globally, with other substantial contributors to cancer burden varying.
However, around half of cancers are not attributable to a known risk factor, meaning early diagnosis and effective treatments must accompany efforts to raise prevention efforts.
Understanding the magnitude of cancer burden attributable to modifiable risk factors is crucial for the development of effective prevention. Policies should be tailored appropriately to local cancer risk factor burden.
If you care about alcohol, please read studies that Alzheimer’s drugs may reverse brain damage from alcohol drinking and a new method to treat alcoholic liver disease.
For more information about cancer, please see recent studies about what you need to know about supplements and cancer, and results showing this inexpensive drug could help treat cancer.
The research was published in The Lancet and conducted by Christopher Murray et al.
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