There are a number of factors that can influence the development of cancer, such as family history, a routine or not of physical exercises, associated diseases, diet, among other habits that directly impact health and can favor the “error” in the mutation of cells. that make them carcinogenic. However, a comprehensive analysis of nearly half a million Americans over a five-year period singled out the two main factors that alone lead to a higher risk of developing all types of tumors: age and smoking.
The study was conducted by researchers at the American Cancer Society (ACS) and just published in the scientific journal Cancer. Data from 429,991 people in the United States with no history of cancer were analyzed. At the end of the monitoring period, 15,226 participants had been diagnosed with an invasive tumor.
Being over 50 years old alone was associated with a more than 2% increase in the incidence of the disease over just five years. For those with younger age, being a smoker or having quit smoking for less than 30 years also individually increased the risk for the diagnosis by the same intensity.
Other habits and behaviors that influenced the onset of the disease, but to a lesser extent when evaluated individually, in men were alcohol consumption; consumption of red meat; physical inactivity and family history. Among women, they were mainly high body mass index (BMI), type 2 diabetes, hysterectomy, hypertension, tubal ligation, as well as physical inactivity and family history.
Those responsible for the study point out that, although age and smoking alone were the most capable of increasing the risk for cancer, when several factors were associated, such as being over 50 years old, being a smoker and family history, the chances of developing the picture can be almost 30% higher in five years.
“The absolute risk of developing any cancer within five years was equal to or greater than 2%, regardless of risk factor profile for almost all men and women aged 50 years and over (…) After age, the factor The most important risk factor for developing any cancer in five years was smoking history. (However) the risk was as high as 29% in men and 25% in women for some risk factor profiles at older ages,” the researchers write.
They argue that the findings may influence recommendations for who should perform the so-called screening tests, indicated as a routine for certain groups, which seek to identify the condition in early stages. This is the case, for example, of mammography, which must be performed every two years by women over 50, according to the Ministry of Health, due to the greater risk of breast cancer.
“Screening recommendations for a single type of cancer 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 that could benefit from better cancer screening and prevention.” Alpa Patel, in a statement.
In addition, he explains that, as science advances in the creation of new tests, which can identify several types of cancer at the same time, this identification of the greatest risk not for a specific diagnosis, but for all conditions, becomes even more important. .
“As we consider the possibility that future tests could identify multiple types of cancer, we need to start to understand who is most at risk of developing any type of cancer. These types of data are not widely available, but are needed to inform future screening options, such as blood-based early detection tests for various cancers that could help save lives.”
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