Lifestyle risk factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, overweight and obesity, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are associated with a third of all deaths caused by 20 types of cancer in Brazil, according to a new epidemiological study.
Published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, the study shows that lifestyle risk factors account for 114,497 annual cases of cancer in Brazil, which represents 27% of all cancer cases, and 63,000 deaths, or 34% of cancer mortality.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Preventive Medicine Department of the University of São Paulo's Medical School (FM-USP) and the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States, with support from São Paulo Research Foundation - FAPESP.
The researchers concluded that the number of laryngeal, lung, oropharyngeal, esophageal and colorectal cancer cases could be at least halved by eliminating these lifestyle risk factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, overweight, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity).
"The most striking finding is the proportion of cases that could be avoided by combating lifestyle risk factors. According to several previous studies in this area, no other measure could prevent so many cases. The study should serve as a basis for the formulation of public policy to prevent cancer in Brazil," said Leandro Rezende, a researcher at FM-USP and a coauthor of the study.
Cancer is a multifactorial disease and one of the main causes of ...