In a recent survey, when people were asked to identify the causes of cancer, they identified tobacco use as a causative factor of cancer, but only 30% identified use of alcohol as a preventable cause of cancer.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) asked in a poll that considered 4,000 U.S. Adults about what according to them what causes and what not causes cancer. Nearly 66% stated sun exposure as a probable cause of cancer, while others were not much aware of this factor.
In the National Cancer Opinion Survey, only 31% considered obesity as a risk factor of cancer. Next to tobacco use, obesity is regarded as a second major preventable causative factor of cancer that increases risk of colon, breast, prostate and uterine cancers.
ASCO’s chief medical officer, Dr. Richard Shilsky said, “That so few Americans are aware that maintaining a healthy weight is associated with lower risk for many cancers should serve as a wake-up call.” He further added, “Unfortunately, obesity is a problem that cannot be solved overnight and will require broad societal engagement to address.”
The survey revealed that around 30% participants knew that consuming alcohol elevates risk of cancer of mouth, liver and breast. Moreover, only 25% and less knew that even skipping exercise can be a cause of cancer.
A 2016 study established a link between lack of exercises and colon, oesophageal, liver, rectal, kidney, lung, stomach, head, neck, and bladder cancers of varying severity.
The study also highlighted wrong beliefs regarding the causative factors of cancer. For instance, nearly 14% people thought cell phones can be a cause of cancer, while 8% regarded caffeine as a cause of cancer. However, ASCO doesn’t recognize anyone as a potential threat to cancer.
ASCO president, Dr. Bruce Johnson further added, “The survey helps us understand what our fellow Americans know and believe about cancer, and therefore where we need to focus as a nation in our efforts to conquer cancer. It is clear there are many gaps we need to address like educating the public about cancer prevention and investing in cancer research that is vital to improving patients’ outcomes in future.”