Nearly half of US cancer deaths blamed on unhealthy behavior

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 12:29 PM
Updated: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 12:28 PM


            FILE - In this April 21, 2015, file photo, a patron smokes a cigarette inside a bar in New Orleans hours before a smoking ban takes effect in bars, gambling halls and many other public places such as hotels, workplaces, private clubs and stores. Cigarette smoking, over-eating and other unhealthy behaviors can be blamed for nearly half of U.S. cancer deaths each year, according to a new American Cancer Society study released Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
FILE - In this April 21, 2015, file photo, a patron smokes a cigarette inside a bar in New Orleans hours before a smoking ban takes effect in bars, gambling halls and many other public places such as hotels, workplaces, private clubs and stores. Cigarette smoking, over-eating and other unhealthy behaviors can be blamed for nearly half of U.S. cancer deaths each year, according to a new American Cancer Society study released Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

A new look at cancer in the U.S. finds that nearly half of cancer deaths are caused by smoking, poor diet and other unhealthy behaviors.

That's less than commonly-cited estimates from more than 35 years ago, a result of new research methods and changes in American society. Smoking rates have plummeted, for example, while obesity rates have risen dramatically.

The study found that 45 percent of cancer deaths and 42 percent of diagnosed cancer cases could be attributed to what the authors call "modifiable" risk factors. These are risks that are not inherited, and mostly the result of behavior that can be changed, like exposure to sun, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, drinking alcohol and, most importantly, smoking.

A British study conducted in 1981 attributed more than two-thirds of cancer deaths to these factors.

The study used 2014 data and was conducted by the American Cancer Society. It was published online Tuesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

"We thought it was time to redo those estimates," said Dr. Otis Brawley, the cancer society's chief medical officer and one of the study's authors.

Smoking was the leading risk by far, accounting for 29 percent of deaths. Excess body weight was next at 6.5 percent, and alcohol consumption was third at 4 percent.

The authors ran separate calculations for different types of cancer by age group and gender to try to account for how risk factors affect different groups of people, then added them together to understand the national picture.

Among the findings:

— Smoking accounted for 82 percent of lung cancers.

— Excess body weight was associated with 60 percent of uterine cancers and about one-third of liver cancers.

— Alcohol intake was associated with 25 percent of liver cancers in men and 12 percent in women; 17 percent of colorectal cancers in men and 8 percent in women; and 16 percent of breast cancers in women.

— Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or tanning beds was associated with 96 percent of skin cancers in men and 94 percent in women.

Richard Clapp, a professor emeritus of environmental health at Boston University expects the new numbers to be will widely cited and used to make decisions about how to spend money on cancer prevention, just as the influential British study from 1981 by researchers Richard Doll and Richard Peto has been.

Clapp said there is still room for improvement, however. He said the study doesn't address how two or more risk factors, like smoking and drinking, might work together in some cancer cases and deaths.

Also, aside from secondhand cigarette smoke, the researchers did not to include outdoor or indoor air pollution because the data on the cancer risk from pollution is not detailed enough to understand the national impact, said the study's lead author, Dr. Farhad Islami.

Report: CDC given list of 'forbidden' words for budget

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 12:47 PM

WATCH: CDC Given List of ‘Forbidden’ Words

The Trump administration has issued a list of seven words and phrases that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are "forbidden" from using in documents related to next year's budget, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The list of banned words includes: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based, according to The Washington Post report. In certain cases, alternative phrasing was offered. CDC employees were encouraged to use the phrase, “the CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes," in place of “science-based” or “evidence-based” according to a source cited in The Washington Post report.

 >> Read more trending news 

It is not clear why the Trump administration issued such a directive, but The Washington Post notes that other federal agencies, like Health and Human Services, have altered language addressing sexual orientation in its documentation since Trump took office.

The directive was met with an "incredulous" reaction when it was announced at a meeting Thursday with CDC employees, The Washington Post reported.

The White House has not released a response to The Washington Post report.

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Panthers' Thomas Davis donates $15K for high school state championship rings

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

Panther’s Thomas Davis Donates $15K to High School for State Championship Rings

Carolina Panthers defensive linebacker Thomas Davis has made a huge donation to help the Harding University High School football team get its players and coaches championship rings.

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Davis confirmed he donated $15,000 to the team in a tweet to WSOC-TV anchor John Paul.

The football team finished its 14-1 season with a 30-22 win over Scotland County in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A State Championship game in Winston-Salem. It’s the first state championship for the team since 1953.

Head football coach Sam Greiner was on the radio Friday morning when Davis called in and said he would help. The football program was trying to figure out ways to purchase rings for its players who couldn't afford them.

The rings cost about $400 apiece, so the school was trying to raise about $20,000. A GoFundMe page was set up to help the team buy rings, which had raised nearly $7,000 by Friday morning.

When Greiner accepted the head coach position two years ago, the football program was one of the worst in the state -- winning just one game in both 2014 and 2015. The players didn't have uniforms until the coach’s church bought them. They still practice on a beat-up baseball field and have to dress behind the stands.

"If someone wrote a movie script about everything that's happened, they would think it's a fairy tale,” Greiner said. “They wouldn't think it's real life.”

WSOC-TV asked what expenses Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools cover and was told it provides for game officials, security and coaching stipends.

Everything else is up to the school, families or a booster club.

Harding doesn't have a booster club, and a majority of the students’ families don't have the money.

"We have kids on our rosters that don't really have homes,” Greiner said. “They really don't know what they're going to eat (from) day to day.”

Greiner and his church created a family before building a state championship-caliber team. The church provides meals before games and Greiner let his quarterback, Braheam Murphy, who was homeless, live with him.

"I have two daughters because I think the good Lord knew I had enough sons, coaching football," Greiner said.

Sandra Bernhard and Estelle Parsons to appear in 'Roseanne' reboot

Published: Friday, December 08, 2017 @ 7:02 PM

Roseanne Barr and Sandra Bernhard (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribec
Roseanne Barr and Sandra Bernhard (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)(Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribec)

Two fan-favorite characters from “Roseanne” have officially signed on for the upcoming reboot, and fans couldn’t be more thrilled.

>> Read more trending news

Nancy Bartlette (Sandra Bernhard) and Beverly Harris (Estelle Parsons) will be making a return to the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois, according to E! News.

Bernhard shared her excitement on Twitter for fans in a photo with Roseanne Barr and Laurie Metcalf.

“Look who I bumped into today! #Roseanne & #laurie it’s all happening kids!” she wrote.

Fans will remember Nancy as Roseanne and Jackie’s lesbian friend while Beverly was the sisters’ mother. The publication reports that Bernhard will appear in at least one episode of the upcoming ABC revival, and Parsons has signed on for two of the episodes.

The news comes just a week after “Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki revealed he was also reprising his role as Darlene’s (Sara Gilbert) boyfriend, David. The status of their relationship is unknown at this time, but “Shameless” star Emma Rose Kinney has reportedly signed on to play their daughter.

John Goodman (Dan) will also make an appearance on the highly-anticipated reboot of the series, though it is unclear in what capacity. Fans will remember that his character died in the finale of the original series.

The reboot of “Roseanne” is set to air in the spring of 2018.

Precious photos show Santa visiting infants at Ohio hospital

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 5:36 AM

Santa Claus and friend.
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
Santa Claus and friend.(Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Santa Claus made a special trip to an Ohio hospital to spread Christmas love to babies in the newborn intensive care unit.

>> Read more trending news

At Akron Children’s Hospital, 66 families received a special visit from St. Nick, who held the infants and chatted with the babies’ older siblings, WJW reported.

The hospital posted some of the photographs on its Facebook page. 

Baby’s first Christmas! Santa made the holiday season much brighter for 66 families and their precious babies in our...

Posted by Akron Children's Hospital on Thursday, December 14, 2017

The touching photos were courtesy of Simon Says Smile, a volunteer program provided by Black Dog Photo Co., and started by Ashley Smas and Molly Conger.

The program was started as a result of Molly’s son, Simon, who spent 82 days in Akron Children’s NICU due to an esophageal atresia and prematurity.

Simon is now a healthy 5-year-old, WJW reported.

“When your child is in the NICU you don’t have the opportunity to get regular hospital photos as you would at an adult hospital. I treasure the photos they [Black Dog Photo Co.] took for us that day and wanted to share that gift with others in the same situation,” Conger told WJW.

The photos show Santa bonding with the babies, some of whom are wearing their Christmas outfits.