Smoking and Obesity Make Half of All Cancers Preventable

April 3, 2012

According to a new study from our partners at Washington University School of Medicine, more than half of all cancer diagnoses are due to smoking and obesity and are preventable.

The study’s lead author, the Siteman Cancer Center’s Graham Colditz, MD, was cited in a Washington University news release with “data demonstrating that smoking alone is responsible for a third of all cancer cases in the United States. Excess body weight and obesity account for another 20 percent.”

As tobacco use and obesity are modifiable risk factors, one of the suggestions Dr. Colditz makes is that society should play an active role in helping reduce these cancers. For example, in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio’s Veronique LaCapra, PhD, he points out:

“In terms of the key things that are really outstanding in Missouri, tobacco probably is one of our really classic examples. We know in the US, Kentucky has the highest lung cancer mortality. Utah has the lowest lung cancer mortality. And Missouri has the lowest tobacco tax and one of the highest lung cancer mortality rates.

Illinois just across the river has a lot more tobacco control than we have and [has] substantially lower lung cancer rates. So there’s a really clear relation between how much a state is focused on tobacco control, how that is reflected in the proportion of the population smoking, and how many people are dying from lung cancer.”

For the entire study, click here or for more watch this FOX2 interview with Siteman’s Sarah Gehlert, PhD:

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Category: Lung Diseases & Smoking, Siteman Cancer Center

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