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Health: tobacco and alcohol are the main causes of cancer in the world

According to a gigantic study published this Friday, August 19, tobacco is by far the main element that has favored cancer (33.9%), followed by alcohol (7.4%).

Nearly half of cancers worldwide are attributable to a given risk factor, primarily tobacco and alcohol, concludes a gigantic study published this Friday, August 19, emphasizing the importance of preventive measures without making one panacea.

“According to our analysis, 44.4% of cancer deaths worldwide (…) are attributable to a risk factor that has been measured”, suggests this study, published in the Lancet and carried out as part of the Global Burden of Disease.

Tobacco, the main factor contributing to cancer

This vast research program, funded by the Bill Gates Foundation, is of an unparalleled scale, involving several thousand researchers in most countries of the world.

This work therefore makes it possible to know more in detail the risk factors according to the regions of the world even if, on the whole, its conclusions confirm what was already known: tobacco is by far the main element having favored cancer (33, 9%), followed by alcohol (7.4%).

Above all, these conclusions argue for giving a great deal of importance to prevention in public health, since many of these risk factors relate to behaviors that can be changed or avoided.

However, a good half of cancers are not attributable to a given risk factor, which shows that prevention is not enough.

The study highlights the importance of prevention

This, according to the authors, must therefore be accompanied by two other pillars: a sufficiently early diagnosis and effective treatments.

In an independent comment, published in the same edition of The Lancet, two epidemiologists supported these conclusions, also believing that the study underlines the importance of prevention.

These two commentators, Diana Sarfati and Jason Gurney, however, called for not necessarily taking the accuracy of the estimates given at face value, noting that the collection of data is by nature subject to many shortcomings in several countries.

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