Nearly half of cancer deaths linked to preventable risk factors: Study

Almost half of cancer deaths are linked to preventable risk factors.

— -- Cancer. To many of us, it may seem scary, mysterious, or even inevitable. Now, a new study suggests that nearly half of the country’s cancers may be preventable through decisions we make every day.

“The results indicated that we can prevent a substantial proportion of cancers with the help of behavior and prevention strategies,” said lead study author Dr. Farhad Islami, Strategic Director of Cancer Surveillance Research at the American Cancer Society. Islami noted that he and his team believe that the percentages they reported are actually an underestimate of the cancers that could be prevented with simple lifestyle tweaks.

The good news is that the rate of death from cancer in U.S. has decreased by 25% over the past several decades. But experts estimate that in 2017, 1.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed, and 600,000 people will die of their cancer –- which is why experts in the field agree that more needs to be known about how to prevent these cancers before they strike.

Platz added that the emphasis on obesity is particularly timely.

“The obesity epidemic started in the 1980s; it then plateaued but now seems to be on the rise again,” she said. “The worst part is that this is evident in children too.”

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