Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. In 2017, more than 1.6 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States. In addition to the physical problems and emotional distress caused by cancer, the high costs of care are also a burden to patients, their families, and to the public. An estimated 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States are caused by a combination of excess body weight, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption and poor nutrition. By participating in healthy behaviors, the risk for developing diseases, including cancer, is reduced.
The World Health Organization estimates that between 30-50% of cancers are preventable, either through eliminating environmental exposures to carcinogens or through modifying lifestyle behaviors. Some factors associated with increased cancer risks include: being overweight or obese; poor nutrition and physical activity; tobacco use; UV exposure; and alcohol use.