Unhealthy Behaviors Are Driving Up U.S. Cancer Deaths, Says New Research

cancer poor dietary choicesCancer kills numerous people across the globe each year. In the United States, the disease is the second leading cause of death.

As a growing number of people become statistics of cancer, research on this horrid disease continues to discover its actual causes.

When it comes to our health, many of us have been seduced to believe we are outsiders, merely the product of our gene pool, and nothing we can do, good or bad, will change the hand we have been dealt.

Whatever will be, will be.

However, what if cancer is self-induced, through poor lifestyle choices?

Conventional mainstream thinking asserts that if we are we genetically predisposed to cancer, we will likely get it, regardless of our lifestyle choices.

How true this is, I can’t tell. But this is what many people have been led to believe.

But new researchers are starting to prove otherwise.

Apparently, we have overlooked our lifestyle choices as a possible cause of cancer. Yes, we do inherit our genes, but we also inherit our lifestyle and eating habits from our family members.

Gene Expression May Hold The Answer

New research into daily dietary choices may reveal how the genes we were dealt can express in either positive or negative ways.

Recent studies have established that an increasing number of cancer deaths are due to unhealthy behaviors. Today, there are smokers in the country and more obese people.

A comprehensive US study shows the increase in the cancer rate is due to smoking habits, poor diet, and other unhealthy behaviors.

According to a recent broadcast on ABC News, 45 percent of cancer deaths and 42 percent of cancers in diagnosed patients were linked to unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, suggesting that cancer may be a result of the choices we make, more so than we were initially led to believe.

Some of these unhealthy behaviors include:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (e.g., excessive sunlight)
  • Not eating enough fruits and vegetables
  • Poor diet
  • Pollution

A 1981 British study attributed more than two-thirds of cancer deaths to these factors.

In a similar US study, smoking was found to be the leading cause of death in 29% of cancer patients. Excess body weight was a distant second at 6.5%, and alcohol consumption has 4%.

Further findings, according to ABC News, revealed that:

  • 80% of lung cancers are the result of smoking.
  • 60% of uterine cancer and a third of liver cancer are as a result of excess body weight.
  • While alcohol intake was responsible for 25 percent of liver cancer in men and 12 percent of liver cancer in women, 16 percent of breast cancer can be attributed to alcohol. Alcohol consumption has also been linked to colorectal cancer in 17 percent of men and eight percent of women.
  • In men, 96 percent of skin cancer is due to overexposure to ultraviolet rays (sunlight), while the percentage of women is 94 percent.

The report’s author describes these behaviors as “modifiable risk factors, ” which are behaviors that can be changed.

Hence, in light of recent research, it can be deduced that unhealthy behaviors play a huge role in cancer death rates.

What can we learn from all of this? Of course, that many factors drive our cancer risk! Now, it is up to us to change unhealthy behaviors that trigger cancer.

The ball is in your court. What do you plan to do to lower your cancer risk?