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Medical News & Perspectives
June 23 2010

New Report Argues Environmental Factors Are Underappreciated as Cancer Risks

JAMA. 2010;303(24):2456-2461. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.831

The true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated, warns the President's Cancer Panel in its latest annual report. But others say the report is too sensationalistic and could cause researchers and the public to downplay the factors that cause the majority of cancers.

Issued May 6, the 240-page report, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now, lays out the sources and types of environmental contaminants linked to cancer risk and offers suggestions to researchers, government agencies, and individuals about how to reduce the risk (http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/pcp08-09rpt/PCP_Report_08-09_508.pdf). The Cancer Panel (http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/pcp.htm) has been issuing annual reports since its creation in 1971 by President Richard M. Nixon when he launched the so-called war on cancer. Previous recent reports by the panel focused on maximizing the nation's investment in fighting cancer and promoting healthy lifestyles.

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