Richard G. Petty, MD

Reducing Your Cancer Risk

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
— Thomas Alva Edison (American Inventor, 1847-1931)

I am sure that you will agree that prevention is better than cure. And this is a good time of the year to review where you are in your life and what you want or need to do for yourself and your loved ones.

According to a study reported in the Lancet in November 2005 more than one third of cancer deaths are attributable to nine modifiable risk factors.

To evaluate exposure to risk factors and relative risk by age, sex, and region, the investigators analyzed data from the Comparative Risk Assessment project and from new sources, and they applied population-attributable fractions for individual and multiple risk factors to site-specific cancer mortality provided by the World Health Organization.

Of the seven million deaths from cancer worldwide in 2001, approximately 2.43 million (35%) were attributable to nine potentially modifiable risk factors. Of these deaths, 0.76 million were in high-income and 1.67 million in low- and middle-income nations; 1.6 million were in men and 0.83 million deaths were in women.

Smoking, alcohol use, and low consumption of fruits and vegetables were the leading risk factors for death from cancer worldwide and in low- and middle-income countries. In low- and middle-income regions, Europe and Central Asia had the highest proportion (39%) of deaths from cancer attributable to the nine risk factors studied.

For women in low- and middle-income countries, sexual transmission of human papilloma virus (HPV) was also the leading risk factor for cervical cancer. Smoking, alcohol use, and overweight and obesity were the most important causes of cancer in high-income countries.

Between 1990 and 2001 mortality from cancer decreased by 17% in those aged 30 to 69 years and rose by 0.4% in those older than 70 years, according to the authors, but this decline was lower than the decline in mortality rates from cardiovascular disease for men and women. The decline in mortality in men was largely due to reduction in mortality from lung, prostate, and colorectal cancers, while in women, lung cancer increased in the 1990s, and death rates for breast and colorectal cancer decreased. An article published almost ten years ago in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, it was estimated the worldwide attributable risk for cancer to infectious agents as 16%.

The nine factors were:

  1. High body mass index
  2. Low fruit and vegetable intake
  3. Physical inactivity
  4. Smoking
  5. Alcohol abuse
  6. Unsafe sex
  7. Urban air pollution
  8. Indoor use of solid fuels
  9. Injections from healthcare settings contaminated with hepatitis B or C virus

This all makes good sense, but it is good to see high quality research in reputable journals confirming what we suspected. The research also gives us further compelling reasons for taking a good look at our lifestyles and hopefully the motivation to do something to improve them. And in the case of air pollution and injection of contaminated products, to be active in getting things cleaned up.

“Keep your own house and its surroundings pure and clean. This hygiene will keep you healthy and benefit your worldly life.”
— Sathya Sai Baba (Indian Spiritual Teacher, c.1926-)

“Length of life does not depend so much on a good physical constitution as it does on the best use of the six non natural things, which if we rule aright, we shall live long and healthy lives: to divide the day properly between sleep and waking; to adjust our air to the needs of the body; to take more or less food and drink according to our age, our temperament and whether we live an active or inactive life; to take exercise or rest according to the quantity of food and whether we are lean or fat; to know ourselves and be able to rule our emotions and subject them to our reason.  Whoever handles these wisely will live long and seldom need a doctor.”

–Giorgio Bagliivi (Italian Physician, Pathologist, Researcher and Author of De Fibra Motrice, 1669-1707)

“The best doctor prevents illness, a mediocre one treats illnesses that are about to occur, and an unskilled one treats current illnesses.”
–Chinese Proverb

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

logo logo logo logo logo logo