Preventable Cancers in Alberta
It is World Cancer Day today and to mark this day, Alberta Health Services has released the results of a new study that shows that half of the cancers in Alberta are preventable.
Before going any further, lets clarify what “preventable” means. Most cancers are caused by genetic, environmental exposures and lifestyle risk factors. We obviously cannot control our genetics. Therefore public health policy has always focused on strategies that reduce exposure from the environment and personal risk factors. These are within our control and thus cancers caused by these risk factors are termed preventable cancers.
The study breaks down the impact of lifestyle choices on cancer risk. It concluded that about half of cancers could be prevented in Alberta each year through altering our lifestyle choices. Tobacco and lack of physical activity account for just over half of these cancer cases.
Radon gas is in the Top 10 List
Radon gas exposure is seventh on the list, accounting for about 323 cancers every year in Alberta. Radon gas has been determined to account for about 17% of new lung cancer cases every year in Alberta.
Governments can now have reliable source of information to prioritize prevention campaigns that will, hopefully, put a dent in the number of new cancer cases diagnosed every year. Radon is a low hanging fruit that governments can address quickly.
To read more about the study, visit albertapreventscancer.ca
For information on how to test your home for radon gas, go to Radonkit.ca
For information on how governments can implement radon policies see, the Radon Policy Challenge.