Most of us know what is good or bad for our health. We also know that a so-called “healthy” diet, getting enough sleep, and sun protection may help ward off some illnesses.
I also understand that there are diseases that involve many factors beyond my control, such as genetics. But what about “habits” that you can control?
An analysis based on the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2019 report recently published in the British medical journal The Lancet shows that many of the risk factors for cancer and related disease incidence and mortality are associated with prevention. It shows that it is possible.
The research group analyzed data collected from multiple accessible databases, including demographic data for each country and region. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs, healthy hours lost from lifespan due to disease and disability) and years of life lost (YLLs, lost to premature death compared to life expectancy) due to cancer and related diseases, 2010–19 years)”, etc.
They found that cancer, the world’s second leading cause of death (at least at the time of this study, which was conducted before the coronavirus pandemic), was linked to smoking, alcohol consumption, and obesity. , more than 4 million cancer deaths and 100 million DALYs due to occupational and environmental risks. More than 44% of cancer deaths and 42% of DALYs were associated with preventable risks.
DALYs were most strongly associated with ‘smoking, unsafe sex, and alcohol consumption’ in areas with a low social development index (SDI) index. . On the other hand, areas with high numbers were “smoking, drinking and obesity.”
Among cancers associated with unsafe sex, cervical cancer, pharyngeal cancer, anorectal cancer, and hepatitis B and C infection caused by infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) There were many cases of liver cancer.
Smoking is the biggest risk factor
Smoking remained the greatest ‘preventable’ risk factor for cancer incidence and mortality, regardless of social development level or gender. The most common cancers caused by smoking are cancers of the lungs, bronchi, and aerodigestive tracts (throat, esophagus, etc.).
Including all risk factors, cancer deaths and DALYs increased by about 20% and 17%, respectively, between 2010 and 2019. A notable risk factor that had a major impact on this was “metabolic risk,” that is, elevated blood sugar levels. The associated incidence of type 2 diabetes increased sharply, and cancer incidence associated with that incidence increased by 34%.
Many cancer risk factors are thought to be related to lifestyle. But there are also external factors, such as air pollution and occupational exposure. Globally, risk factors continue to increase. There is a worldwide need for better targeted action to reduce both cancer incidence and mortality.