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Proportion and number of cancer cases and deaths attributable to potentially modifiable risk factors in the United States.

​Unhealthy lifestyle and dietary habits, such as cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, physical inactivity, and consumption of diets high in red and processed meats and low in fruits, vegetables, fiber, and calcium, may increase an individual's risk of developing cancer.

This study examined how lifestyle and dietary choices affect cancer risk. A team of researchers from the American Cancer Society reviewed data obtained from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute on the number of cancer cases and deaths that occurred in the United States in 2014.

The team of investigators discovered that unhealthy lifestyle and dietary habits, such as cigarette smoking, high exposure to second hand smoke, alcohol consumption, high dietary ingestion of red and processed meats, low intake of fruits, vegetables, fiber, and dietary calcium, physical inactivity, excess body weight, ultra-violet radiation, and cancer-associated infections, were associated with 42% of all incident cancer cases (with the exception of non-melanoma skin cancer) and 45.1% of all cancer deaths recorded in the United States in 2014. According to this study, cigarette smoking was responsible for the highest number of cancer cases and cancer-related deaths, followed by excess body weight. Lung and colorectal cancer were the most common cancers in the United States in 2014. The findings of this study suggest adoption of healthy lifestyle and dietary habits may help reduce the incidence of cancer in the general population.

Research Summary Information

  • 2017
  • Islami F, Goding Sauer A, Miller KD, Siegel RL, Fedewa SA, Jacobs EJ, McCullough ML, Patel AV, Ma J, Soerjomataram I, Flanders WD, Brawley OW, Gapstur SM, Jemal A.
  • Strategic Director, Cancer Surveillance Research, Surveillance and Health Services Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. Epidemiologist, Surveillance and Health Services Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. Strategic Director, Surveillance Information, Surveillance and Health Services Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. Strategic Director, Risk Factors and Screening Surveillance, Surveillance and Health Services Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. Strategic Director, Pharmacoepidemiology, Epidemiology Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. Strategic Director, Nutritional Epidemiology, Epidemiology Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. Strategic Director, Cancer Prevention Study-3, Epidemiology Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. Strategic Director, Cancer Interventions Surveillance, Surveillance and Health Services Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. Scientist, Section of Cancer Surveillance, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France. Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Chief Medical and Science Officer, Executive Vice President, Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. Vice President, Epidemiology Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. Vice President, Surveillance and Health Services Research Program, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA.
  • Yes, Free full text of study was found:
  • No. Source of funding disclosure not found
  • No. Potential conflicts disclosure not found
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