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Older age and smoking may be the most important risk factors for all types of cancer: study – The Hill




Story outline

  • Although numerous studies of individual cancer risk factors exist, data on the incidence of all types of cancer are simply lacking.

  • A new study of over 425,000 individuals found that older age and smoking were the top cancer risk factors.

  • Over 5 years, 15,226 invasive cancers were diagnosed.

With more and more research on cancer, an ever-growing list of risk factors appears to be contributing to the development of this disease. however, large-scale new research A study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that older age and smoking were the most prominent risk factors for the relative and absolute 5-year risk of all types of cancer.

Results are based on two prospective cohort studies of 429,991 people with no history of cancer. The individual was followed for 5 years, during which he was diagnosed with 15,226 invasive cancers.

In addition to being older (50 years or older) and being a current or former smoker, other risk factors for women include high body mass index (BMI), type 2 diabetes, hysterectomy, previous pregnancies, and family history of cancer. history, and hypertension. , tubal ligation and physical inactivity.

Additional risk factors for men were alcohol consumption, family history of cancer, red meat consumption, and physical inactivity.

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“Screening recommendations specific to a single cancer type are based on the risk factors for that particular type of cancer,” said senior vice president of population sciences at the American Cancer Society and researcher. Co-author Alpa Patel said: statement. “Our findings are encouraging as we work to define subgroups of the general population that may benefit from enhanced cancer screening and prevention,” Patel continued.

Nearly all current or former smokers aged 50 and over in the study had a 5-year absolute cancer risk greater than 2%.

The absolute five-year cancer risk was 29% for men and 25% for women.

“Given the potential for future tests to identify some types of cancer, we need to start understanding who is most at risk of developing which type of cancer,” Patel said. Stated.

“These types of data are not widely available, but they are necessary to inform future screening options, such as blood-based early detection tests for multiple cancers that could help save lives.”

Overall, the researchers suggest that identified individuals may benefit from enhanced cancer screening and prevention efforts.

The study was limited by the lack of data on genetic mutations and chronic viral infections that may increase cancer risk. Researchers were also unable to stratify risk based on race or ethnic group.

“These results suggest that a more detailed risk assessment could identify currently untargeted groups of the general population under age 50 who are at risk equal to or greater than that of the population aged 50 and over,” they concluded. attached.

Published August 5, 2022




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