Half of US Cancer Deaths Due to Lousy Lifestyle Choices

Two skulls on a table with cigarretes

According to scientists, most cancer cases in the US can be easily prevented

A new study has revealed that half of cancer deaths in the US are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. According to the research, the most prevalent causes are smoking and having a poor diet.

The paper was published on Tuesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, which is run by the American Cancer Society. It revealed that approximately 42 percent of cancer cases could have been avoided. All of these cases could be attributed to “modifiable” risk factors. According to the authors, these are risks that are not innate but are mostly the result of lousy lifestyle choices. Examples include prolonged exposure to the sun, drinking alcohol, not eating healthy and, last but not least, smoking.

Researchers blame the increase in the number of deaths on the low price of tobacco and on a lack of proper healthcare. According to them, mortality rates could have been drastically reduced “by effective preventive strategies, such as excise taxes on cigarettes to reduce smoking and vaccinations against HPV and HBV infections.”

The study used 2014 data and ran separate calculations for different types of cancer by gender and age group in order to find out how risk factors influence different groups of people. While smoking was the leading cause of death, obesity and alcohol consumption weren’t far behind.

According to the study, smoking was responsible for 82 percent of lung cancers while excess body weight was linked with 60 percent of uterine cancers and one-third of liver cancers.

Alcohol consumption was the main cause of liver cancer in 25 percent of men and 12 percent of women.

96 percent of skin cancers in men and 94 percent in women were associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or tanning beds.

A 2015 data showed that only 4 percent of smokers are getting the recommended lung cancer screening.

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