Roy Morgan Research Company and Gallup International have released an opinion poll study at the recent International Union Against Cancer’s World Cancer Congress in Geneva (August 27 to 31, 2008) that reveals significant differences among low-income countries and high-income countries. Cancer of the liver and other cancers can be caused by alcohol and throat and lung cancer as well as others are caused by carcinogens from cigarette smoking. These are medical facts that have been well established. But the opinion poll showed that there is ignorance and confusion in the public both in poor and wealthy nations. For instance in high-income countries 42% felt that there was no cancer risk from drinking alcohol and 8% were unsure, in low-income countries 15% were of the opinion that alcohol was not a cancer risk and 29% were unable to say. Other differences were that 62% of people in wealthier nations believed that cancer was one of the three top health issues in the country, while only 36% of people in poorer nations believed this. On the other hand with so much information about pollution in the press 76% to 78% of people living in middle and high income countries are of the opinion that this is an important cause of cancer while only 30% believe this in the poorer countries. The reality is that smoking and drinking of alcohol are more important in terms of cancer causation than pollution is.
David Hill, president-elect of the International Union Against Cancer, said that these opinion polls reveal data about attitudes and believes previously unknown. This kind of data can be used to formulate programs for cancer prevention so that the public is accurately informed about cancer facts and they learn in rich and poor countries alike that factors like smoking, drinking alcohol and a high body mass index are more significant cancer causes than pollution. Pollution is more difficult to control by the individual, but these life style factors can be modified, and people need to be empowered to make the right choices. People have the power to stop smoking, to cut down their alcohol consumption and to increase their exercise, which helps them to shed pounds.
More information about causes of cancer: http://nethealthbook.com/cancer-overview/overview/epidemiology-cancer-origin-reason-cancer/
International Union Against Cancer’s World Cancer Congress in Geneva (August 27 to 31, 2008)
Last edited November 3, 2014