By Jeffrey Drope, PhD
May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, an important annual event when we pause to reflect on how to move the world away from tobacco use and toward improved public health.
Tobacco is one of the leading risk factors for non-communicable diseases, including cancer – 32% of all cancer deaths in the United States, including a staggering 87% of lung cancer deaths, are attributable to tobacco use. Tobacco use is also one of the most preventable causes of cancer deaths.
This year’s World No Tobacco Day theme is illicit trade – tobacco products produced, exported, imported, purchased, sold, or possessed illegally. While illicit trade in tobacco products is undoubtedly troubling from a number of perspectives, including lost tax revenue for governments, increased revenue to tobacco companies, and links to organized crime and possibly terrorism, it’s important to look at the whole picture. The tobacco industry consistently tries to claim that strong tobacco control policies increase illicit trade. But, in fact, the single best way to fight the illicit trade in tobacco products is to redouble efforts to use what we already know works to drive down the use of all cigarettes, legal and illegal.… Continue reading →
By Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD
The American Cancer Society has released the second edition of The Cancer Atlas book and, for the first time, a companion website. The Cancer Atlas provides in-depth information on the global burden of cancer, major risk factors, and cancer prevention and control measures.
Changes in developing countries leading to more cancer
It is estimated that the global burden of cancer is expected to rise from 14.1 million new cancer diagnoses in 2012 to 19.3 million in 2025 simply due to the aging and growth of the population. This is because the risk of getting cancer is greater as you age. During this period, even more cancers are diagnosed in less economically developed countries, increasing from 59% to 68% of the total cancer cases worldwide. In addition to aging, the burden is likely to increase as countries transition from a farming-based economy to an industry-based economy and as people change their work environments (office instead of farm), modes of transportation (driving instead of walking), and dietary habits (eating out instead of home cooked) – all of which lead to more obesity and physical inactivity, known risk factors for many common cancers.
Also, women are having fewer children and, therefore, also breastfeed for less time over the course of their lives, both of which may increase the risk of breast cancer.… Continue reading →