Preventable factors raise cancer risk in the US — 5 insights

A study, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, estimated the proportion and number of invasive cancer cases and deaths that were attributable to major, potentially changeable factors.

Farhad Islami Gomeshtapeh, MD, PhD, of the American Cancer Society, and colleagues conducted the study.

Here's what you should know:

1. In 2014, there were an estimated 659,640 incident cancer cases

2. Approximately 265,150 cancer deaths were attributable to evaluated risk factors.

3. Cigarette smoking accounted for 298,970 cancer cases and 169,180 deaths.

4. Other factors causing cancer were excess body weight and alcohol intake.

5. Lung cancer had the highest incidence rate with 187,970 cases and 132,960 deaths, followed by colorectal cancer at 76,910 cases and 28,290 deaths.

Researchers said, "These results, however, may underestimate the overall proportion of cancers attributable to modifiable factors, because the impact of all established risk factors could not be quantified, and many likely modifiable risk factors are not yet firmly established as causal. Nevertheless, these findings underscore the vast potential for reducing cancer morbidity and mortality through broad and equitable implementation of known preventive measures."

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