Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cancer And Lifestyle

Over 40% of cancers due to lifestyle
Nearly half of cancers diagnosed in the UK each year - over 130,000 in total - are caused by avoidable life choices including smoking, drinking and eating the wrong things, a review reveals.Tobacco is the biggest culprit, causing 23% of cases in men and 15.6% in women, says the Cancer Research UK report.

Next comes a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in men's diets, while for women it is being overweight. The report is published in the British Journal of Cancer. Its authors claim it is the most comprehensive analysis to date on the subject.

In total, 14 lifestyle and environmental factors, such as where you live and the job you do, combine to cause 134,000 cancers in the UK each year. About 100,000 (34%) of the cancers are linked to smoking, diet, alcohol and excess weight. One in 25 of cancers is linked to a person's job, such as being exposed to chemicals or asbestos. Some risk factors are well established, such as smoking's link with lung cancer.



But others, like gall bladder cancer, are largely unrelated to lifestyle. The researchers base their calculations on predicted numbers of cases for 18 different types of cancer in 2010, using UK incidence figures for the 15-year period from 1993 to 2007.

In men, 6.1% (9,600) of cancer cases were linked to a lack of fruit and vegetables, 4.9% (7,800) to occupation, 4.6% (7,300) to alcohol, 4.1% (6,500) to overweight and obesity and 3.5% (5,500) to excessive sun exposure and sunbeds.

In women, 6.9% (10,800) were linked to overweight and obesity, 3.7% (5,800) to infections such as HPV (which causes most cases of cervical cancer), 3.6% (5,600) to excessive sun exposure and sunbeds, 3.4% (5,300) to lack of fruit and vegetables and 3.3% (5,100) to alcohol.


You can read the full report here.

Bowel cancer screening ‘does cut deaths’

A bowel cancer screening programme in England is on course to cut deaths by a sixth, say researchers studying results from the first million people tested. When results from the first 1.08 million taking part were collated, it was found that 2.5% of men and 1.5% of women had received an abnormal result, and were sent for further tests, usually colonoscopy, in which a tube with a camera on the end is passed into the colon. Among the men with abnormal results, 43% turned out to have either cancer or pre-cancerous growths in their colon. The figure for women was 11.6%. However, the test appeared to be less effective at spotting cancers in the upper section, or "right side" of the colon. 

You can read the full article here.

Cancer 'drives families into debt'

Two-thirds of parents of children with cancer surveyed by a UK cancer charity say they have been forced to borrow money to make ends meet. Of the 245 families interviewed, 76% said that their child's illness had had a major impact on finances with two in three parents experiencing a loss of earnings. The survey was carried out by children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

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