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“Can Diet Affect Cancer Risks ?”

Many factors can contribute to the development of chronic diseases, including certain types of cancer. The link between diet and cancer risk is complicated. However, certain dietary patterns and food choices do have associations with an increased risk of cancer. In 2018, an estimated 18.1 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed globally, and 9.6 million died from the disease. One in 5 men and 1 in 6 women worldwide will develop cancer during their lifetime, and 1 in 8 men and 1 in 11 women will die from cancer. The increasing cancer burden is due to several factors, including population growth and aging. Eliminating or lowering exposure to known lifestyle and environmental risk factors could prevent from one‐third to two‐fifths of new cancer cases. Research shows that environmental causes, including dietary, can also affect cancer risk. In the early 1960s, researchers discovered that cancer rates varied between countries and identified that specific dietary patterns have correlations with certain types of cancer. They also discovered that cancer rates in people from countries with a low cancer risk who migrated to countries with higher cancer risk matched or exceeded the cancer rates in the country they migrated to. This suggests that diet and lifestyle strongly impacted cancer development. Since then, researchers have narrowed down the specific foods and dietary patterns that may increase the risk of certain cancers. It is important to remember that alcohol intake is also a known dietary risk factor for cancer development.

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