Previous studies have suggested a link between excessive consumption of red and processed meats and the development of cancer, but the imprimatur of the global health body – even in a split decision – has given the claim significant authority. A study funded by the Cancer Council using Australian data from 2010 found the consumption of red and processed meat was linked to 16 per cent of colon cancers and 23 per cent of rectum cancers in that year. The council said that if all Australian adults had consumed less than 65 grams of red and processed meat a day, 800 fewer cases of colon cancer would have been diagnosed. The report reflected conventional wisdom that tobacco smoking, radiation and obesity were major contributing factors to the development of cancer. It also identified several other diet and lifestyle factors that it said were linked to preventable cancers. Alcohol consumption: There were 3208 preventable cases of cancer linked to excessive alcohol consumption in 2010, the report found. Booze was most likely to be a factor in cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, the larynx and the liver. If Australians restricted themselves to less than two drinks a day, 1400 fewer cancers would have been diagnosed, the Cancer Council said. Inadequate fibre intake: A factor in 18 per cent of colorectal cancers in 2010 (18 per cent of all cases), according to the study. Inadequate fruit intake: This was most likely to be linked to cancers of the oesophagus (15 per cent of all cases) and the lung (10 per cent). In total, a lack of fruit was a factor in 1555 preventable cancer cases in 2010. Inadequate vegetable intake: Vegetables played a lesser role than fruit but insufficient intake was still linked to 311 preventable cancers in 2010, the report said. Physical inactivity: Laziness was linked to 707 colon cancers (7 per cent) and 971 post-menopausal breast cancers (8 per cent). The recommended level of exercise was 60 minutes a day on at least five days a week. Cancer Council Australia chief executive Sanchia Aranda said earlier in October – before the release of the WHO report – that it was time to “bust the myth” that “everything gives you cancer” and focus on the proven risk factors. “People are confused about fad diets and mixed health messages,” she said. “But the evidence is clear that a diet rich in vegetables, fruit and whole grains – with other foods consumed in moderation – will cut your cancer risk.” Of course, less reputable organisations have over the years made many competing claims about the risk factors for cancer. According to the Britain’s Daily Mail alone, the following have been rumoured to be linked to cancer: air travel, “blowjobs” [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][oral sex], bubble baths, breast implants, broccoli, being a man, being a woman, and crayons. And that was just within the first three letters of the alphabet. Locally, outlets such as Today Tonight and A Current Affair have speculated on the risks posed by microwaves, cordless phones, mobile phones – and even gel manicures, in the case of Mamamia. This weeks WHO report has already accrued its share of doubters and detractors (Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce quickly labelled it a “farce”), but its findings will be much harder to dismiss.
The Age, 27 October 2015 ;http://www.theage.com.au ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]