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New Report: Environmental Causes of Cancer

New Report: Environmental Causes of Cancer

At last – the idea that most cancer is caused by environmental factors is becoming mainstream.

A report by the President’s Cancer Panel, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now was published in April 2010. This latest annual report, for 2008–2009, was written by Suzanne H. Reuben for the cancer panel and published by the National Cancer Institute.

The facts about cancer are dismal. As the report says, about 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some time in their lives, and some 21 percent will die of it. In 2009 approximately 1.5 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed, and about 562,000 died of it.

In 2009 cancer cost the United States approximately $263 billion, for direct medical costs, “indirect morbidity costs (cost of lost productivity due to illness)” and “indirect mortality costs (cost of lost productivity due to premature death),” according to the report.