4 out of 10 cancers would be preventable: risky behaviors that must be banned

142,000 cancers, attributed to lifestyles and the environment, could have been avoided in 2015, according to the latest report of Public Health France.

150 000. This is the number of deaths from cancer in France in 2017. A disease partly attributable to lifestyle and the environment.

As revealed by the latest Epidemiological Bulletin of Public Health France, about four in ten cancers were due to lifestyle-related risk factors in 2015. As a result, 142,000 cancers could have been prevented.

To find out, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (CIR) brought together more than 80 experts, who raised the exposure levels of the French population to thirteen risk factors classified as certain or probable carcinogens.

Result? Tobacco is the leading cause of the disease in France: in 2015, 20% of cancers were attributed to cigarette consumption. In the same year, alcohol was responsible for 8% of new cancer cases, followed by diet (5.7%) among men and overweight and obesity (6.8%) among women.

What behaviors should be prohibited to limit the risk of cancer? They are not limited to smoking, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, overweight and obesity.

Insufficient physical activity, use of exogenous hormones, suboptimal breastfeeding time, infections, ionizing radiation, air pollution, UV radiation and exposure to chemicals also increase the list of risk factors of cancer.

To guard against it, nothing like prevention. "It must go through a better consideration of the respective weight of different causes of cancer, to prioritize and guide (...) the actions of public authorities and better inform the public about the risks to consider", concludes Public Health France.

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