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Home Cancer statistics Preventability estimates Cancer preventability estimates for body fatness

Cancer preventability estimates for body fatness

Updated estimates of preventability (PAF%) of cancers of which body fatness is a cause by appropriate body composition, in four countries

Cancer USA UK BRAZIL CHINA
  Male Female Male Female Male Female Male Female
Oesophagus 32 38 29 33 20 26 14 20
Pancreas(1) 17 20 14 16 8 13 5 10
Gallbladder 11 28 8 21 3 15 2 10
Colorectum(2) 17 15 15 13 10 11 8 9
Breast(3) - 17 - 16 - 14 - 12
Ovary(4) - 5 - 4 - 3 - 1
Endometrium(5) - 50 - 38 - 29 - 17
Kidney 20 28 17 21 10 16 6 10
Total for these cancers combined 19 21 18 17 12 14 10 12

(1) CUP - Revised estimate using Genkinger et al. Int J Cancer 2011; 129: 1708-17.
(2) CUP - Revised estimate using Adams et al. Am J Epidemiol 2007; 166: 36-45.
(3) No revisions required based on CUP breast cancer report.
(4) CUP - New conclusion; used estimate from Reeves et al. BMJ 2007; 335: 1134.
(5) CUP - Revised estimate using Park et al. Int J Cancer 2010; 126: 490-9.

The Continuous Update Project and Second Expert Report identified obesity as a major independent risk factor for cancer.

A separate analysis was conducted for those cancers where there is strong evidence that excess weight increases cancer risk. The results are shown separately for men and women.

The table shows separate estimates on how much cancer could be prevented by being a healthy weight for men and women. The combined estimates for men and women were 21% for US, 17% for UK, 14% for Brazil and 11% for China.

Using numbers of new cases of cancer diagnosed annually from GLOBOCAN 2012 for both men and women combined this translates to about 116,000 cases of cancer in the USA, about 23,000 for the UK, about 20,000 for Brazil and about 104,000 for China being preventable if everyone had a healthy weight.

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