Reducing cancer rates will rely on a more complete understanding of what causes the disease, Elizabeth Tracey reports


More cancers were diagnosed in 2023 than in the previous year, the American Cancer Society says, but cancer deaths are not rising at the same rate. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says as our understanding of cancer grows there are a few things to keep in mind.

Nelson: There are three factors that impact on developing cancers in adulthood typically. One are exposures in the environment, some of them related to lifestyle, diet, other habits. Some related to genes you're born with and the other is they're just plain mistakes made every time 1 cell generates 2,2 generates 4, combination of these things. It's sort of the witches brew that are in the cauldron that as you sprout a cancer moving forward ultimately I think we're gonna have much more information about germline vulnerabilities with DNA sequencing.  :32 

Nelson says it’s a good idea to do things you can to reduce your risk for cancer, such as consuming a healthy diet, not smoking, exercising regularly, and getting screened at appropriate intervals. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.