Preventable risk factors like smoking and alcohol are closely associated with 11 of the 15 cancers in the US, finds a study.
The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, finds that the cancer burden is 20 per cent to 30 per cent higher in African-Americans than in all races and ethnicities combined.
To measure cancer burden, researchers from the American Cancer Society calculated the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost to cancer. This measure combines mortality, incidence, survival, and quality of life into a single summary indicator.
DALYs lost to cancer were mostly related to premature death due to the disease (91 per cent), and only 9 per cent related to impaired quality of life because of cancer or its treatment, or other disease-related issues.
Lung cancer was by far the largest contributor of the loss of healthy years to all-cancer, accounting for 24 per cent of the burden (2.4 million DALYs).
Next was breast (10 per cent) followed by colorectal (9 per cent), pancreatic (6 per cent), prostate (5 per cent), leukemia (4 per cent), liver (4 per cent), brain (3 per cent), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (3 per cent) and ovarian (3 per cent).
The four most-burdensome cancers (lung, breast, colorectal, and pancreas) caused about half of all DALYs.