Alberta Study Finds 40% Of Cancer Cases Can Be Attributed To Lifestyle And Environment

Alberta Study Finds 40% Of Cancer Cases Can Be Attributed To Lifestyle And Environment
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Cancer is a terrible, unwanted illness that affects far too many of the world’s population today. One of the scariest things about this deadly foe, however, is that doctors today attest to having little idea about what causes cancer cases. We’ve assumed that sunlight is the culprit, but also medications and sunscreens. We’ve accused certain jobs, specific fumes, and lifestyle choices, but a 2012 Canadian study sheds more light on the subject, suggesting that, for many, cancer actually is a lifestyle disease that is hugely influenced by the foods we eat. (1)

Current Cancer Facts

According to the World Health Organization, cancer rates are on the rise worldwide. Cancer is the leading cause of death, and by the year 2030, the number of new cancer cases is expected to increase by 40% in high-income countries, and more than twice that rate low-income countries. (2) Cancer is so incredibly common already that it’s more likely for someone to contract cancer than to get married or have their first baby. (3) These types of statistics are insane, especially considering the millions of dollars worth of research being poured into science and study meant to help combat cancer and reduce the disease. However, what’s more shocking, is that about one-third of all cancer deaths worldwide could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors. (2)

To make matters even worse, it appears that the cancer industrial complex is negligent at warning patients that chemotherapy, a treatment often used to fight and kill cancer, is currently understood to make some cancers spread and worsen, making certain tumors even more aggressive than they were before treatment. The government and other regulatory agencies have been working hard to access safe, natural, or otherwise alternative cancer treatments since chemotherapy has revealed itself to be such a deadly treatment. (4)

Even though many doctors strongly attest to the elusiveness of cancer, claiming not to understand it or its cause, the reality is that a person can significantly reduce their risk of getting cancer if they simply make a few lifestyle changes. According to the 2012 study in Alberta, Canada, the total proportion of cancer rates attributed directly to general lifestyle and environmental factors is exceptionally high. Per the study, nearly 41% of cancer cases are due to lifestyle decisions or the environment, meaning that close to half of cancer cases in Alberta could have been avoided. (1)

The Canadian Cancer Study

The study details,

“We estimated summary population attributable risk estimates for 24 risk factors (smoking [both passive and active], overweight and obesity, inadequate physical activity, diet [inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption, inadequate fibre intake, excess red and processed meat consumption, salt consumption, inadequate calcium and vitamin D intake], alcohol, hormones [oral contraceptives and hormone therapy], infections [Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C viruses, human papillomavirus, Helicobacter pylori], air pollution, natural and artificial ultraviolet radiation, radon and water disinfection by-products) by combining population attributable risk estimates for each of the 24 factors that had been previously estimated.”

This remarkably detailed list outlines many personal choices human beings knowingly make, understanding that they increase one’s risk of cancer, as well as pointing out foods that directly increase one’s risk of getting cancer. Add in exercise and environmental factors, and you learn that a great deal of cancer-causing agents are entirely avoidable! (1)

The study goes on to say that,

“Overall, we estimated that 40.8% of incident cancer cases were attributable to exposure to the 24 factors included in the analysis. Tobacco smoking was responsible for the greatest cancer burden, accounting for an estimated 15.7% of all incident cancer cases (2485 cases), followed by physical inactivity and excess body weight, which were responsible for an estimated 7.2% and 4.3% of incident cancer cases, respectively. All other exposures of interest were estimated to be responsible for less than 4.0% of incident cancer cases each.” (1, 6)


We often hear that cancer is unpredictable and comes out of nowhere. While this is still the case for the majority of cancer cases, the fact of the matter remains that cancers due to lifestyle choices can be prevented. Consciously selecting healthy habits and creating a healthy environment for yourself may save you from lifestyle-induced cancers. You may have more control over your health than you might know! 

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