(Mirror Daily, United States) – A new study found that bad lifestyle choices like unhealthy diets, smoking, alcoholism, and being overweight or obese account for four out of 10 cancer cases in the United States.
The study was published this week in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
Other preventable risk factors for cancer were not getting enough fiber from one’s diet, red meat, highly processed foods, inactivity, exposure to too much Ultraviolet (UV) radiation at tanning salons or on the beach and the infection with the human papillomavirus virus (HPV), which can cause genital and cervical cancer.
Study authors analyzed each of these factors and assessed their impact on cancer risk in the long run. Scientists also analyzed 26 types of cancer and the number of cases in their study.
In the U.S., 1.57 million people are diagnosed with cancer, but around 42 percent of these cases were caused by preventable risk factors. What’s more, 45 percent of cancer-related deaths could have been prevented.
Poor Lifestyle Choices Are Killing Us
The top factors that can cause cancer are smoking, and second-hand smoking (19% of cases and 29% of deaths), being overweight or obese (7.8 percent of cases), and alcohol abuse (5.6 percent). Too long exposure to sunlight or other sources of UV radiation accounted for 4.7 cancer cases. Sedentarism can also lead to cancer, with 2 percent of cases being tied to a sedentary lifestyle.
Next on the list were poor diets with no fruits or vegetables (2%) and HPV infections (2%). Lung cancer and colorectal cancer – which are some of the deadliest forms of cancer – had the most cases that could have been prevented.
Study authors call for better education for Americans on cancer prevention as part of a public health strategy to keep in check cancer rates across the country.
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