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340,000 U.S. Cancer Cases Preventable Annually

Report finds global cancer burden will keep rising if preventive measures are not widely adopted

FRIDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- More than 300,000 U.S. cancer cases could be prevented annually with changes in diet, physical activity, and alcohol intake, according to a report released Feb. 4 by the World Cancer Research Fund. In addition, another report published online Feb. 4 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians notes that cancers associated with lifestyles and behaviors related to economic development will keep increasing in developing nations if preventive measures are not widely adopted.

According to the report from the World Cancer Research Fund, consuming a varied and healthy diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and limiting alcohol intake could prevent approximately 340,000 cases of cancer in the United States annually. Specifically, 38 percent of annual breast cancer cases could be prevented annually, as well as 47 percent of stomach cancer cases and 45 percent of colon cancer cases.

In the other report, Ahmedin Jemal, D.V.M., Ph.D., of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues write that 12.7 million cancer cases and 7.6 million cancer deaths occurred in 2008, with 56 percent of cases and 64 percent of deaths occurring in the economically developing world. The report outlines differences in cancer causation between economically developed and economically developing countries as well as shifts in cancer trends that show an increasing impact from unhealthy behaviors among developing countries. The authors write that a substantial proportion of the international cancer burden could be prevented through use of existing cancer control knowledge and by implementing programs for tobacco control, vaccination, and early detection and treatment, as well as public health campaigns promoting exercise and a healthy diet.

"The worldwide application of existing cancer control knowledge according to the capacity and economic development of countries or regions could lead to the prevention of even more cancer deaths in the next two to three decades," writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

Abstract - Jemal
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