Abstract. The 2019 Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) on cancer deaths was a large comparative risk assessment framework that was used to estimate cancer burden attributable to behavioural (or so called lifestyle risk factors), environmental, occupational, and metabolic risk factors. The results of this large worldwide study (involving data from 200 countries) showed that almost 50% of cancer deaths are preventable if people reduce these lifestyle risk factors and at the same time promote a healthy diet and continuous physical and mental activity. Data showed that the most important modifiable risk factors, such as smoking, drinking excess alcohol, diet and obesity, are the biggest contributors to premature cancer deaths worldwide. Researchers of Global Burden of Diseases found that avoidable risk factors (by modifying certain lifestyle habits) were responsible for nearly 4.5 million cancer deaths in 2019, representing more than 44% of global cancer deaths that year. Smoking, excess alcohol use and a high body-mass index (BMI) — which can be indicative of obesity and unhealthy diets— were the biggest contributors to cancer. The avoidable global cancer deaths (2019) were estimated at 2.88 million for men and 1.58 million for women. The difference is due to the fact that males smoke and drink more than women and work in jobs that expose them to carcinogenic risk factors. These findings of GBD, were published in The Lancet on 20 August 2022, largely confirming results from smaller epidemiological and other human disease studies. The highlights of the report put emphasis on the benefits of reducing these unhealthy lifestyle habits. Smoking is the most risk factor for cancer. In particular for lung cancer which is 20-25 times as high in men and women who smoke compared to those who do not smoke. Advancing age is another very important risk factor for cancer overall. Unhealthy diets and obesity (less fruit and vegetables, high-energy and high-fat-red meat diets) increase the risk of a number of cancers. Drinking excess alcohol can increase risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, larynx, liver, and breast. In the last decades, the increased combustion of fossil fuels for transport, heating and electricity production in urban areas, resulted in changes to the atmospheric composition. Air pollution in urban areas include pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone and suspended particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10). Epidemiological data found that long-term exposure to high concentrations of PM2.5 can increase the cardiovascular disease risk and lung cancer mortality. Studies suggest that airborne particulate pollution is associated with increased risk of mortality from, mainly, lung cancer but also for several other types of cancer, including breast, liver, and pancreatic cancer. A new carcinogenic mechanism has been proposed for the airborne Particulate Matter (PM) and lung cancer in the Congress of European Society for Medical Oncology took (Paris, France, September 2022) from scientists from the Crick Institute (London) and the University College London, funded by Cancer Research UK.
Half of the World’s Cancer Deaths are Preventable. Reductions of lifestyle-modifiable risk factors: smoking, obesity-unhealhty diet, and drinking excess alcohol
Sep 22, 2022