Is cancer a preventable disease?

From: Pharmaceutical Research

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  • This paper represents a review of existing knowledge.


  • This paper represents a review of existing knowledge.


  • Only 5–10% of all cancer cases can be attributed to genetic defects,
  • 90–95% of cancers have their roots in the environment and lifestyle.
  • The lifestyle factors include cigarette smoking, diet (fried foods, red meat), alcohol, sun exposure, environmental pollutants, infections, stress, obesity, and physical inactivity.
  • The evidence indicates that of all cancer-related deaths, almost 25–30% are due to tobacco, as many as 30– 35% are linked to diet, about 15–20% are due to infections, and the remaining percentage are due to other factors such as radiation, stress, physical activity, environmental pollutants etc.
  • Cancer prevention requires quitting smoking, increased ingestion of fruits and vegetables, moderate use of alcohol, caloric restriction, exercise, avoidance of direct exposure to sunlight, minimal meat consumption, use of whole grains, use of vaccinations, and regular check-ups. 


  • Yes (with confidence)


Editors Notes

  • Cancer accounts for about 23% of the total deaths in the USA and is the second most common cause of death after heart disease