Another new study about lifestyle and the risk of cancer. Many earlier studies have established some lifestyle factors that increase cancer risk: smoking, alcohol use, obesity, and physical inactivity. In this study the researchers found that about 20% to 40% of cancer cases and about half of cancer deaths can be potentially prevented through lifestyle modification. For some cancers the the effect is even larger - for example, approximately 80% to 90% of lung cancer deaths could be avoided if Americans adopted the lifestyle of the low-risk group, mainly by quitting smoking. For other cancers, from 10% to 70% of deaths could be prevented. Bottom line: making some lifestyle changes could change a person's cancer risk. Science Daily:
A large proportion of cancer cases and deaths among U.S. individuals who are white might be prevented if people quit smoking, avoided heavy drinking, maintained a BMI between 18.5 and 27.5, and got moderate weekly exercise for at least 150 minutes or vigorous exercise for at least 75 minutes, according to a new study published online by JAMA Oncology. Cancer is a leading cause of death in the United States.
Mingyang Song, M.D., Sc.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, and Edward Giovannucci, M.D., Sc.D., of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, Boston, analyzed data from two study groups of white individuals to examine the associations between a "healthy lifestyle pattern" and cancer incidence and death.
A "healthy lifestyle pattern" was defined as never or past smoking; no or moderate drinking of alcohol (one or less drink a day for women, two or less drinks a day for men); BMI of at least 18.5 but lower than 27.5; and weekly aerobic physical activity of at least 150 minutes moderate intensity or 75 minutes vigorous intensity. Individuals who met all four criteria were considered low risk and everyone else was high risk. The study included 89,571 women and 46,399 men; 16,531 women and 11,731 had a healthy lifestyle pattern (low-risk group) and the remaining 73,040 women and 34,608 men were high risk.
The authors suggest about 20 percent to 40 percent of cancer cases and about half of cancer deaths could potentially be prevented through modifications to adopt the healthy lifestyle pattern of the low-risk group.The authors note that including only white individuals in their PAR estimates may not be generalizable to other ethnic groups but the factors they considered have been established as risk factors in diverse ethnic groups too.