Weight And Inactivity Are Threatening To Overtake Tobacco As Risk Factors For Cancer

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Weight And Inactivity Are Threatening To Overtake Tobacco As Risk Factors For Cancer

This Fact According To Annual Report To The Nation
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Weight and inactivity threatening tobacco as risk for #cancer on @DrLen's blog http://3bl.me/w74khb
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Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 5:05pm

By Dr. Len

The "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer" was released this afternoon as has been the case every year since the first report was issued in 1998. And, like many of the reports previously, we are fortunate to continue to see declines in the rates of deaths for many cancers along with a decrease in the frequency of some cancers. 

However, the news is not all good. 

Unfortunately, the incidence of some cancers continues to increase. And, as explained very clearly in this excellent report, this nation continues to suffer from an epidemic of overweight, obesity and physical activity that the authors suggest-but don't actually say-has the potential to overcome the favorable impact of declining smoking and tobacco use on cancer incidence and deaths. The implication is clear that if we don't do something-and do something quickly-to reverse the trend we will see incidence and deaths from certain cancers continue to increase in the future. 

And I would stress the point that it is no longer just being oversized that increases your risk of cancer, but also sitting all day on the job (like I am doing right now) as another factor that plays into your cancer risk, independent of how large or small you may be.  

This report-which is authored by researchers from the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries-is a highly anticipated annual report card on what we are doing "right" as a nation and where we are failing in our efforts to reduce the burden and suffering from cancer. 

For the most part, the news has been good. We have seen significant declines in the death rates in a number of cancers, including some common ones. This report is chock full of data, so it isn't possible to represent all of the information in this blog.

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