May 24, 2019 – Avoiding Cancer


Anchor lead: A very large number of cancer deaths might be avoided, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Cancer deaths are declining nationally, a recent study reported, and that’s great news. Perhaps even more noteworthy is that almost half of the 600,000 plus cancer deaths that will occur in 2019 might have been avoided. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Nelson: The estimate is that 45% of those deaths are actually from what are called modifiable risk factors, things that you could change. Cigarette smoking is probably 29% of them, diet and physical activity, obesity, access to vaccinations against human papilloma virus. Race and ethnic minorities, socioeconomic status, educational status, many times they all go together, and the screening utilization is 20 to 30% lower in folks without a high school education versus college graduates. :31

Nelson says lots of help is available to help those struggling with risks such as smoking and obesity. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.