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1/3 of Common Cancers May Be Preventable

1/3 of Common Cancers May Be Preventable
August 21, 2009 Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

About a third of common adult cancers may be preventable in the U.S. — and that doesn’t even count cancers that could be prevented by not smoking.

That’s according to a new report from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and its sister organization, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

In the new report, the WCRF and AICR estimate that in the U.S., eating a nutritious diet, being physically active, and keeping body fat under control may prevent:

  • 38% of breast cancers
  • 45% of colorectal cancers
  • 36% of lung cancers
  • 39% of pancreatic cancers
  • 47% of stomach cancers
  • 69% of esophageal cancers
  • 63% of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, or larynx
  • 70% of endometrial cancers
  • 24% of kidney cancers
  • 21% of gallbladder cancers
  • 15% of liver cancers
  • 11% of prostate cancers

Diet, physical activity, and limited body fat could prevent 34% of those 12 cancers overall in the U.S., and 24% of all cancers, according to the report.

Many factors affect cancer risk, and some of them — like family history — aren’t within your control. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t wipe out cancer risk — but it also has no downside.


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