Cancer Epidemiology: A Survey of Modifiable Risk Factors for Prevention and Survivorship

Am J Lifestyle Med. 2017 Mar 28;12(3):200-210. doi: 10.1177/1559827617700600. eCollection 2018 May-Jun.


Approximately 40% of men and women in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. There have been dramatic developments in our understanding of cancer development and progression in recent decades, leading to improvements in screening and treatment, and in turn greater numbers of survivors living longer after diagnosis. Epidemiologic evidence of lifestyle-related factors and cancer risk and survival has been explored extensively in the published literature, with recommendations for cancer prevention and control and strategies for implementation evolving over time. This review summarizes the burden of cancer, general measurement issues in cancer epidemiology, and the current state of the science in specific lifestyle-related risk factors and cancer. It is estimated that one third to one half of cancers could be prevented by healthier lifestyle choices.

Keywords: cancer epidemiology; lifestyle; survivorship.