According to a new big study undertaken by experts at the American Cancer Society, the two most important risk factors connected to a relative and absolute five-year likelihood of developing any cancer are older age and smoking (ACS).
The study’s findings were published in the journal ‘Cancer.’ The findings also show that, in addition to age and smoking history, practitioners should examine excess body fatness, a family history of any disease, and a number of other characteristics to assist patients assess if they may benefit from increased cancer screening or preventative programmes.
“Single cancer type-specific screening recommendations are based on risk factors for that specific type of cancer,” said Dr. Alpa Patel, senior vice president, population science at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study. “Our findings are encouraging as we are working to define subgroups in the general population who could benefit from enhanced cancer screening and prevention.”
For this study, researchers analyzed two ACS prospective cohort studies, Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort and Cancer Prevention Study-3 to identify the risk factors associated with greater than two-per cent absolute risk of any cancer within five years. The authors studied 429,991 participants in the United States with no prior personal history of cancer and followed for cancer for up to five years.
The hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals for association were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models. Individualized Coherent Absolute Risk Estimation was utilised to assess absolute risks by age using these HRs.
Within five years of registration, 15,226 invasive malignancies were detected among patients. Current smokers had the highest multivariable-adjusted relative risk of any cancer compared to never smokers. Alcohol drinking, a family history of cancer, red meat eating, and physical inactivity were also linked to increased risk in men.
Body mass index (BMI), type 2 diabetes, hysterectomy, parity, family history of cancer, hypertension, tubal ligation, and physical inactivity were all linked to an increased risk of cancer in women.
“As we consider the possibility that future tests may be able to identify several types of cancer, we need to begin understanding who is most at risk for developing any type of cancer,” said Patel. “These types of data are not widely available, but necessary to inform future screening options, such as blood-based multi-cancer early detection tests that could help save lives.”