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Scientists Report 80% of Cancer Cases Caused by Environmental & Food Carcinogens

Subject: Nat'l Cancer Institute: 80% of Cancer Cases Due to Environmental

The Environment News Service June 28, 2004

Environmental Factors the Major Cause of Cancer

BETHESDA, Maryland, June 28, 2004 (ENS) - Most cases of cancer are linked
to environmental causes, U.S. government scientists report, and
simultaneously, a second group of government researchers says the number
of cancer survivors is growing in the United States. Cancer is the second
leading cause of death for Americans after heart disease.

But more people diagnosed with cancer are living longer today than ever
before. A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released Friday shows that
64 percent of adults whose cancer is diagnosed today can expect to be
living in five years.

The majority, 61 percent, of cancer survivors are aged 65 and older, and
the study estimates that one of every six people over age 65 is a cancer
survivor. The findings are published in the June 25 issue of CDCís
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, ìCancer Survivorship ñ United
States, 1971 ñ 2001.î

Cancers linked to environmental causes make up at least 80 percent of all
cancer cases, according to a second new report by the National Cancer
Institute, this one published with the National Institute of Environmental
Health Sciences. Environmental causes include exposure to agents in the
air and water as well as lifestyle factors such as smoking and diet.

"Most epidemiologists and cancer researchers would agree that the relative
contribution from the environment toward cancer risk is about 80-90
percent," said Aaron Blair, Ph.D., the chief of the Occupational
Epidemiology Branch in NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.
"There is very solid evidence that environmental factors are the major
cause of cancer," he said.

"When I use the word environmental, I mean it in a broad sense to include
both lifestyle factors such as diet, tobacco, and alcohol, as well as
radiation, infectious agents, and substances in the air, water, and soil,"
said Dr. Blair in the June 17 issue of the NCI publication "Benchmarks."

This is only a small portion of the actual article. Read the full story at the ENS website