“To our knowledge, this study represents the largest effort to date to determine the global burden of cancer attributable to risk factors, and it adds to a growing body of evidence aimed at estimating the risks associated with it.” to write burden for specific cancers at the national, international and international levels worldwide,” wrote Dr. Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and his colleagues in the study.
The paper, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, analyzed the relationship between risk factors and cancer, the second leading cause of death worldwide, using data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease project.
The project collects and analyzes global data on deaths and disability. Murray and his colleagues focused on cancer deaths and disability in 204 countries between 2010 and 2019, examining 23 cancer types and 34 risk factors.
The main cancers in terms of risk-attributable deaths worldwide in 2019, tracheal, bronchial and lung cancers were common for both men and women, the researchers found.
The data also showed that the number of cancer deaths from risk is increasing, increasing by 20.4% globally from 2010 to 2019. Globally, in 2019, the top five regions in terms of risk-attributable death rates were Central Europe. , East Asia, North America, South Latin America and Western Europe.
“These findings highlight that a significant portion of the cancer burden worldwide has potential for prevention through interventions aimed at reducing exposure to known cancer risk factors, but also that a large portion of the cancer burden may not be avoided by the risk factors. that are currently estimated to master.” the researchers wrote. “Thus, efforts to reduce cancer risk must be linked to comprehensive cancer control strategies, including efforts to support early diagnosis and effective treatment.”
The new study “clearly delineates” the importance of primary cancer prevention and “the increasing number of cancers related to obesity clearly demands our attention,” Dr. William Dahut, chief scientific director of the American Cancer Society, who was not involved in the new study, wrote in an email to CNN.
“Modifying behavior could lead to millions more lives being saved, greatly eclipsing the impact of every drug ever approved,” he wrote, adding: “Tobacco’s lingering impact, despite about 65 years of cancer association , remains very problematic.”
Although tobacco use in the United States is less than in other countries, tobacco-related cancer deaths remain a major problem and have a disproportionate impact on certain states, Dahut wrote.
A separate study published earlier this month in the International Journal of Cancer found that the estimated percentage of cancer deaths in 2019 attributable to cigarette smoking in adults ages 25 to 79 ranged from 16.5% in Utah. to 37.8% in Kentucky. Estimated total lost income due to smoking-attributable cancer deaths ranged from $32.2 million in Wyoming to $1.6 billion in California.
“In addition, it’s no secret that alcohol consumption and the dramatic increase in median BMI will lead to a significant number of preventable cancer deaths,” added Dahut. “Finally, cancer screening is especially important in people at risk as we move into a world where screening is precision-based and customizable.”
In an editorial published in The Lancet along with the new study, Dr. Diana Safarti and Jason Gurney of the Te Aho o Te Kahu Cancer Control Agency in New Zealand that preventable risk factors associated with cancer are often modeled after poverty.
“Poverty affects the environments in which people live, and those environments determine the lifestyle decisions people can make. Action to prevent cancer requires concerted efforts within and outside the health sector. This action includes specific policies aimed at reducing exposure to cancer-causing risk factors , such as tobacco and alcohol use, and access to vaccines that prevent cancer-causing infections, including hepatitis B and HPV,” Safarti and Gurney wrote.
“Primary prevention of cancer through eradication or reduction of modifiable risk factors is our best hope for reducing the future burden of cancer,” they wrote. “Reducing this burden will improve health and well-being and alleviate the aggravating impacts on humans and the strain on financial resources within cancer services and the wider health sector.”