Causes of cancer in Europe are 5% caused by pollution

According to a report by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), up to 5% of new cancer cases in the European Union (EU) “could be attributed to heritage”. 

The ESMO Medicine European Public Health Policy Director, Jean-Yves Blay made this observation, adding that other factors to consider include pollution, which is increasingly becoming a critical risk factor for cancer. The report further predicts that by 2030, three million new cancer patients will be diagnosed in the EU, including 330000 in Spain alone.

With increasing awareness of the high cancer cases, the European Terminology Group has established lines of work to detect the negative impact factors such as pollution, including non-specific concentrations, such as the presence of fine particulate matter.



Pollution, in addition to its effects on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, is also a major cause of cancer. For instance, there is existing data on lung cancer as a result of pollution that has affected non-smoking women over the age of 60.

It is for these reasons that the association has shifted its focus towards prevention since pollution is a modifiable factor, unlike genetics-based cancer.

There is a need for a significant effort to prepare for another epidemic of cancer cases, and this can only be achieved by putting strategies in place to reduce pollution and monitor environmental factors that can help prevent cancer.



The scientific community is working closely with the European Terminology Group to analyze cancer issues and compare them with other countries’ systems.

It won’t be easy, but establishing regulations that control and reduce pollution levels by adopting alternative energy sources are steps more countries around the world should consider taking, which to be fair are steps not everyone can take, but for those who have the ability to take them should be encouraged to do so.

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