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Here are the leading causes of global cancer deaths, Read study

Nearly 4.45 million cancer deaths were reported globally caused by smoking, alcohol consumption, high BMI, and other known risk factors. (Reuters) Premium
Nearly 4.45 million cancer deaths were reported globally caused by smoking, alcohol consumption, high BMI, and other known risk factors. (Reuters) 

The five regions with the greatest cancer death rates due to these mentioned risk factors were central Europe (82 deaths per 100,000 population), East Asia (69.8 per 100,000), high-income North America (66.0 per 100,000), Southern Latin America (64.2 per 100,000), and Western Europe (63.8 per 100,000), according to the The Lancet study.

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In 2019, nearly 4.45 million cancer deaths were reported globally caused by smoking, alcohol consumption, high Body Mass Index (BMI), and other known risk factors, according to a study published by The Lancet journal on Friday.

The five regions with the greatest cancer death rates due to these mentioned risk factors were central Europe (82 deaths per 100,000 population), East Asia (69.8 per 100,000), high-income North America (66.0 per 100,000), Southern Latin America (64.2 per 100,000), and Western Europe (63.8 per 100,000), according to the study.

The study, as quoted by news agency PTI, can help policymakers and scientists to identify key risk factors that could be targeted in efforts to reduce deaths and ill health from cancer, globally and nationally.

Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, US said that this research illustrates that the burden of cancer remains a crucial public health challenge that is growing in magnitude around the world.

"Smoking will always be the leading risk factor for cancer globally, with other substantial contributors to cancer burden varying," he stated.

What is the outcome of this study?

The researchers, using results from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) 2019 study, investigated how 34 behavioral, environmental, occupational and metabolic risk factors contributed to deaths and ill health due to 23 cancer types in 2019. They also assessed the changes in cancer burden between 2010 and 2019 due to risk factors.

According to the study, the estimates of cancer burden were based on mortality and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). The risk factor in these 4.45 million global cancer death accounted for 105 million cancer DALYs globally for both sexes in 2019---42% of all DALYs in that year.

Tobacco use, alcohol use, unsafe sex, and dietary risks are the behavioral risk factors that were responsible for the vast majority of cancer burden globally, accounting for 3.7 million deaths and 87.8 million DALYs in 2019, the researchers said, adding that the leading risk factors for cancer deaths globally were smoking, alcohol use and high BMI.

They said that the leading cause for both men and women was tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer, which accounted for 36.9 per cent of all cancer deaths attributable to risk factors, followed by colon and rectum cancer (13.3%), oesophageal cancer (9.7%), and stomach cancer (6.6%) in men, and cervical cancer (17.9%), colon and rectum cancer (15.8%), and breast cancer (11%) in women.

The study also shows that around 2.88 million deaths in men could be attributed to the risk factors studies, as compared to 1.58 million deaths in women.

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