By 2030, Top Cancer Death Causes Shift, Many Preventable

A study making news this week suggests that the leading types of cancers diagnosed and causes of death will shuffle in the coming years — with pancreatic cancer climbing to the second leading cause of death. Yet even as the top cancers shift by 2030, the research underscores the importance of preventive strategies, many of which will reduce risk for other chronic diseases.apple, tape measure, scale, stethoscope

AICR research suggests that for the 12 most common US cancers, about one third are preventable by changes to our diet, weight, and activity. Not smoking and other preventive strategies will prevent even more.

For the new study, published in Cancer Research, researchers projected cancer incidence and deaths for 2020 and 2030.

Study authors projected incidence forĀ  the 12 most common cancers for men and 13 for women. For cancer mortality they looked at the 14 deadliest cancers for men and 16 for women. They took into account changing demographics, incidence and death rates.

Breast, prostate, and lung cancers will remain the top cancers diagnosed through 2030, the study finds. For cancer deaths, pancreatic and liver cancers are projected to
become the second and third leading causes, moving ahead of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers.

Lung cancer is projected to remain the top cause of cancer death.

Today, pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death. The disease is often not diagnosed until late stages, making treatment more challenging. AICR research has found obesity is a cause of pancreatic cancer: an estimated 19% of these cancer cases could be prevented by getting to and staying a healthy weight.

Other notable changes from the new study include the numbers of colorectal cancers. Colorectal cancer cases will fall, primarily due to increases in screening, the authors state. But in 2030 the report estates that 114,000 Americans will still be diagnosed with this cancer – down from 139,000 in 2010. And an estimated 47,000 people will die from colorectal cancer.

AICR estimates that half of all colorectal cancers can be prevented with diet, weight control, and exercise.

For the updated research on the links between diet, weight, activity and cancer risk, visit our Continuous Update Project.

This study was supported by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.


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