Cancer: almost half of cases are due to tobacco and alcohol, according to a study


A study published in The Lancet this Friday August 19 indicates that nearly half of cancers in the world are attributable to well-known risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol.

If this study confirms what we already knew, the figures remain alarming. According to a study published this Friday, August 19 in The Lancet, nearly half of all cancers worldwide are attributable to well-known risk factors. According to the researchers’ conclusions, tobacco was by far the main element that favored cancer (33.9%) followed by alcohol (7.4%).

According to our analysis, 44.4% of cancer deaths worldwide (…) are attributable to a risk factor that has been measured”says the study, which was carried out as part of the Global Burden of Diseasea vast research program funded by the Bill Gates Foundation involving several thousand researchers in most countries of the world.

This work thus makes it possible to know in more detail what factors favor these cancers, even if most of them were already known. But these conclusions allow above all to shed light on theimportance of prevention in public health. Indeed, some of these risks relate to behaviors that can be avoided or even completely changed.

The importance of early diagnosis and effective treatment

Nevertheless, if nearly 45% of cancers worldwide are attributed to these modifiable risk factors, the other large half of these cancers are not not attributable to a given risk factorwhich shows that prevention is not enough in the fight against cancer.

While it remains a fundamental basis, prevention must be accompanied by two other equally important pillars: a sufficiently early diagnosis of the disease and theadministration of effective treatments.

In an independent commentary on the study but published in the same edition of The Lancet, two epidemiologists supported these findings, while again emphasizing the importance of prevention. They nevertheless called for “not necessarily take the accuracy of the estimates given at face value, noting that the collection of data is by nature subject to numerous shortcomings in several countries”.

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