A new study from the American Cancer Society revealed that unhealthy lifestyles account for 42 percent of cancer cases and nearly 50% of cancer deaths in the United States, which means that nearly a half of these cases could have been prevented.
The top bad habits that have been associated with a high cancer incidence are:
- smoking and secondhand smoking,
- being overweight,
- alcohol abuse,
- unhealthy diets.
Smoking was tied to 19 percent of cancer cases and nearly 30 percent of cancer deaths, which makes it the deadliest risk factor when it comes to cancer. On the second spot, there was being overweight or obese, with nearly 8 percent of cancer cases and 6 percent deaths.
Alcohol abuse came in third, with 5.6% cases and 4% cancer deaths.
Co-author Dr. Farhad Islami noted that we can prevent a lot of cancers with simple lifestyle changes. Islami thinks that the numbers reported are much higher.
Prevention Is the Key
One piece of good news is that cancer mortality in the United States had slipped 25% in the last decades. For this year, experts predict 1.6 million cancer cases and 600,000 cancer-related deaths.
Dr. Elizabeth A. Platz of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health hailed the new research for shedding more light on the real causes of cancer. Platz, who was not involved in the research, said she was ‘very excited’ about the findings because they point out that prevention can keep cancer at bay.
Researchers also found that lung cancer was the deadliest and had the highest number of cases. The next in line was colorectal cancer. Also, men were more likely to be diagnosed with cancer after consuming processed or red meat, smoking, being exposed too much to UV radiation, or being diagnosed with HIV or Hepatitis C than women.
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