Study Reveals The Most Crucial Risk Factors For Acquiring Any Cancer

Study finds that in addition to smoking history, clinicians should also consider excess body fat, family history as responsible factors for cancer.

Tanya Srivastava
Written by: Tanya SrivastavaPublished at: Aug 04, 2022Updated at: Aug 04, 2022
Study Reveals The Most Crucial Risk Factors For Acquiring Any Cancer

Smoking and old age are significantly the two most stringent risk factors for acquiring any type of cancer. According to a recent major study conducted by scientists at the American Cancer Society (ACS) also smoking and older age are the most crucial risk factors. 

The findings of the study were published in the journal Cancer. The study finds that in addition to smoking history, clinicians should also consider excess body fatness, family history of any cancer, and several other factors that may help patients in determining weather or not they may benefit from enhanced cancer screening or other prevention interventions.

Dr. Alpa Patel, senior vice president, population science at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study said, "Single cancer type-specific screening recommendations are based on risk factors for that specific type of cancer."

"Our findings are encouraging as we are working to define subgroups in the general population who could benefit from enhanced cancer screening and prevention," Dr Patel further added.

For the study, researchers analysed and studied 4,29,991 participants in the United States with no prior personal history of cancer. The analysis was followed for cancer for up to five years. The results showed 15,226 invasive cancers were diagnosed among these participants within the five-years of enrollment.

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Study Reveals The Most Crucial Risk Factors For Acquiring Any Cancer

In women, body mass index (BMI), type 2 diabetes, hysterectomy, family history of cancer, hypertension, tubal ligation, and physical inactivity were also associated along with the cancer risk.

Absolute five-year risk exceeded two percent among nearly all persons above the age of 50 years and among some who were less than 50 years, including current or former smokers and long-term non-smokers with a BMI greater than 25 or a first-degree family history of the disease. The five-year risk was as high as 29 percent in men and 25 percent in women.

"As we consider the possibility that future tests may be able to identify several types of cancer, we need to begin understanding who is most at risk for developing any type of cancer. These types of data are not widely available, but necessary to inform future screening options, such as blood-based multi-cancer early detection tests that could help save lives." concluded Dr. Patel.

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