The Institute of Medicine have produced a report saying that if more Americans merely practiced the cancer prevention efforts researchers have been preaching, the number of cancer deaths could drop by nearly a third over the next 12 years. The reductions would mean 100,000 fewer cancer cases by 2015 and 60,000 prevented deaths.
There are a number of well-known strategies which could both reduce the number of people who develop and those who die from cancer. Strategies include quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and regular cancer screening.
The report recommends that state governments vigorously enforce existing tobacco sale laws and higher tobacco taxes. Higher tobacco taxes have been found to be the single most effective method for reducing the demand for tobacco. The report also notes that since obesity and physical inactivity have recently joined unhealthy diet as leading risk factors for cancer, prevention efforts should begin in childhood to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Researchers say that the benefits of making healthy lifestyle changes would also extend to preventing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
(Source: Reuters Health)