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Updated Estimates: Preventing Half of Colorectal Cancers

Updated AICR preventability estimates show that half of colorectal cancers can be prevented by healthy lifestyle habits.

In total, close to 400,000 cases of the most common cancers in the United States can be prevented each year by eating a healthy diet, undertaking regular physical activity, being at a healthy weight and limiting alcohol consumption. The updates incorporate the most recent estimates of new cancer cases that will occur. (That figure has increased from the 340,000 preventable cases of cancer cited three years ago as incidence has increased.)

For colorectal cancer, the percent of preventable cancers nudged upwards after CUP scientists conducted a new analysis using a stronger study that estimated body fatness. The updated estimates suggest that colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer.

The 2011 CUP report on colorectal cancer found that consuming foods containing fiber and being physically active reduces the risk; having excess body fat, alcohol, and red and processed meats increase the risk. Following these recommendations could prevent almost 72,000 cases of colorectal cancers, according to the estimates.

Percentage of Cancers that Could Be Prevented
via Diet, Activity and Weight Control*

Cancer Type

Percentage Prevented

Cases Prevented Annually

Breast, female

38%

86,210

Prostate

11%

26,591

Gallbladder

21%

2,060

Endometrial

70%

32,991

Esophageal

69%

12,047

Colorectal*

50%

71,730

Pancreatic*

19%

8,345

Mouth, Pharyngeal & Laryngeal

63%

33,144

Kidney

24%

15,544

Liver

15%

4,308

Stomach

47%

10,020

Lung

36%

81,417

TOTAL 384,407

*Sources: AICR/WRCF, Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention 2009 (updated 2012); Cancer Facts & Figures 2012, American Cancer Society.

Read about the CUP findings on preventing colorectal cancer.

 

Published on October 18, 2012

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