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Cancer deaths fall, but prevention still lags behind
Date:9/12/2010

et we know that large numbers of colon cancer cases could be avoided by reducing exposure to risk factors, two of the most easily controllable of which are related to physical inactivity and excess weight," said Dr. Andrew Renehan, from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, one of the co-authors of the paper. While these risk factors are clearly intertwined in general, physical inactivity increases with increasing body mass index (BMI) and increased physical activity contributes to avoidance of weight gain increased physical activity does not necessarily result in weight reduction in overweight people.

"The predictive modelling is beginning to tease out the independent relevance of each of these factors in the prevention of colon cancer," said Dr. Renehan.

Despite the benefits of physical activity and avoiding overweight, an increasing proportion of the European population has a BMI higher than the recommended maximum of 25, and few Europeans engage in the amounts of physical activity recommended by the current guidelines at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on five or more days per week.

In the hypothetical scenario where overweight and obesity levels in European countries increased during the period 2009� at the same rate as has been observed in the US, the projected increase in rates of colon cancer ranged between 1.7 (UK) and 2.8 more (Spain) cases for 100,000 person-years for males. Increases for females ranged from 0.1 (Czech Republic) and 0.6 more cases (The Netherlands) per 100,000 person-years. These rates would translate to increases in numbers of new colon cancer cases of between 0.7 and 3.8%, the researchers say.

If a whole population obtained a mean BMI of 21, between 0.6 (Czech Republic, females) and 11 (Spain, males) per 100,000 new colon cancer cases would be avoided by 2040, translating into a population avoidable fraction (PAF) of overweight and BMI for colon cancer of 2/3% to 18
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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