“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 the burden attributable to the risk of specific cancers at the national, international and global level,” The study was written by Dr. Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and colleagues.
The project collects and analyzes global data on mortality and disability. Murray and colleagues focused on cancer deaths and disability from 2010 to 2019 in 204 countries, examining 23 cancers and 34 risk factors.
The researchers found that the leading cancers in terms of risk-attributable deaths globally in 2019 were trachea, bronchial and lung cancers for both men and women.
The data also showed that risk-attributable cancer deaths are on the rise, increasing worldwide by 20.4% from 2010 to 2019. Globally, in 2019, the top five regions in terms of risk-attributed death rates were the middle Europe, East Asia and North. America, South America, Latin America and Western Europe.
“These findings highlight that a significant proportion of the cancer burden globally has potential to be prevented through interventions aimed at reducing exposure to known cancer risk factors, but also that a significant proportion of the cancer burden may not be avoided by controlling for estimated risk factors. Currently,” the researchers wrote. Thus, efforts to reduce cancer risk must be accompanied by comprehensive cancer control strategies that include efforts to support early diagnosis and effective treatment.
The new study “clearly establishes” the importance of primary cancer prevention and “the increased numbers of cancers associated with obesity clearly require our attention,” Dr. William Dahout, chief scientific officer of the American Cancer Society, who was not involved in the new study, said in an email to CNN.
“Behaviour modification could save millions more lives which overshadows the effect of any drug ever approved,” he wrote, adding that “the persistence of tobacco’s effect despite nearly 65 years of association with cancer remains a major problem.” .
Dahut writes that although tobacco use is lower in the United States than in other countries, tobacco-related cancer deaths remain a significant problem and disproportionately affect some states.
“In addition, it is no secret that alcohol use in addition to a significant increase in average BMI will result in large numbers of preventable cancer deaths,” Dahout added. “Finally, cancer screening is especially important for those at increased risk as we transition to a world where screening is accurate and adaptable.”
“Poverty affects the environments in which people live, and those environments shape the lifestyle decisions that people are able to make. Actions to prevent cancer require concerted efforts within and outside the health sector. This action includes specific policies that focus on reducing exposure to cancer-causing risk factors, such as drug abuse. tobacco and alcohol, and getting vaccinations that prevent cancer-causing infections, including hepatitis B and HPV,” Sarvati and Gurney write.
“Primary prevention of cancer through the elimination or mitigation of 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 mitigate the compounding effects on humans and the strain on financial resources within cancer services and the broader health sector.”
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