Nearly 50% of cancers can be avoided by reducing risk factors: which ones?

Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, with nearly 10 million deaths attributed to the disease in 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is a disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells in the body. These abnormal cells, called cancer cells, can form tumors that interfere with the normal functioning of organs and tissues.

(Keep reading: note: these are the most common signs the body shows before cancer)

There are many types of cancer, depending on the organ or tissue in which it occurs. Some Common examples include breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and skin cancer, among others.

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According to WHO indicators, the most common cancers up to 2020 were: breast cancer (2.26 million cases); lungs (2.21 million cases); colorectal (1.93 million cases); prostate (1.41 million cases); skin (excluding melanoma) (1.20 million cases); and gastric (1.09 million cases).

(Also read: Breast Cancer: Study Identifies Four New Genes Linked To Breast Cancer)

The truth is that currently 30% to 50% of cancers can be avoided by reducing risk factors and applying evidence-based prevention strategies. Moreover, this burden can be reduced through early detection and proper care and treatment of patients. With early diagnosis and proper treatment, the chances of a cure for many types of cancer are high.

Risk factors to avoid to prevent cancer

The International Cancer Research Center (IARC), the WHO specialized body that maintains the classification of carcinogens, states that The incidence of cancer rises sharply with age, most likely because risk factors for certain types of cancer accumulate.

Added to this global accumulation is the loss of efficiency of cellular repair mechanisms that usually occurs with age.

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