Imagine a world where half the cases of cancer that now exist are suddenly nonexistent.
According to a review published in the journal Science Transnational Medicine, the idea is not at all far-fetched. Graham A. Colditz, MD, PhD, and coauthors at Washington University conclude that we now have the knowledge to bring about widescale prevention of a disease estimated to kill 577,190 men and women this year in the U.S. alone.
Dr. Colditz and colleagues observe that lifestyle choices play a major role in the development of cancer. Smoking is responsible for a third of all US cancer diagnoses and excess body weight for 20%. Diet, exercise levels, alcohol intake, and other controllable factors are also involved.
If our society succeeds in adopting all that is currently known about cancer prevention, these measures will additionally reduce deaths from cardiovascular and other diseases.