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Posted Date: 12/6/2017

Cancer-causing behaviors: What you should know

A recent study concluded that nearly half – 45 percent – of all cancer deaths can be attributed to unhealthy behaviors.stethescope

Additionally, 42 percent of all diagnosed cancer cases are attributed to these “modified risk factors.”

“This figure is staggering in that there is a chance these deaths could have been prevented,” said Dr. Arthur Frazier, radiation oncologist with the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Macomb. “Education of the various risk factors and the types of cancers they can cause is incredibly valuable to your health.”

The study, conducted by the American Cancer Society using 2014 data, was published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, also notes that the 45 percent statistic is less than a commonly referenced figure from a similar study of 35 years ago.

These modified risk factors/behaviors include smoking, poor diet/excessive body weight and excessive drinking.

Smoking – 82 percent of lung cancer deaths
Excessive body weight – 60 percent of uterine cancers, one-third of liver cancers
Excessive drinking – 25 percent of liver cancers (men) and 12 percent (women); 17 percent colorectal cancer (men) and 8 percent (women); 16 percent of breast cancer (women)
UV light exposure from sun and/or tanning beds – 96 percent of skin cancer (men) and 94 percent (women)

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States*.

To learn more about modified risk factors and how they might contribute to a cancer diagnosis, visit the CDC.

*according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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