National Cancer Prevention Month

February is National Cancer Prevention Month in America.

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Cancer Prevention Month

Great progress has been made in the battle against cancer, and more knowledge is available today than ever before. Yet the number of cancer deaths is on the rise. As over a third of cancers are preventable, global commitment to implement prevention, early detection, and treatment strategies are increasingly important.

Did you know?

  • Around 9.6 million people died from cancer in 20182
  • The number of deaths is expected to rise to 13 million by 20303
  • With immediate action, up to 3.7 million people can be saved each year4
  • Genetic mutations contribute to only 5-10% of cancers5
  • More than 20% of cancers are related to tobacco use2

Between 30-50% of cancers are preventable.1
Making lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, eating well, exercising regularly, reducing alcohol consumption, getting vaccinated, being sun smart, and avoiding pollutants significantly reduces risk.

Access to cancer care on a global scale is not equal. 70% of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries2 and only 10% of low-income countries have access to radiotherapy – one of the main cancer treatments. Sex, level of education, age, income, and which part of the country one lives in can also affect access to receive cancer care.6


1. Cancer prevention. World Health Organization website. Accessed January 08, 2019.
2. Cancer – Key facts. World Health Organization website. Accessed January 08, 2019.
3. Cancer – Key statistics. World Health Organization website. Accessed January 08, 2019.
4. Knaul FM, Gralow JR, Atun R, Bhadelia A. Closing the Cancer Divide: An Equity Imperative. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Global Equity Initiative; 2012. Accessed January 08, 2019.
5. The Genetics of Cancer. National Institutes of Health website. Accessed January 08, 2019.
6. Zubizarreta EH, Fidarova E, Healy B, Rosenblatt E. Need for radiotherapy in low and middle income countries–the silent crisis continues. Clinical Oncology. 2015 Feb 1;27(2):107-14. doi:10.1016/j.clon.2014.10.006.

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This document serves only as a reference and is intended for informational purposes only. The content of this document is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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