PURPOSE: To estimate the Australian cancer burden attributable to lifestyle-related risk factors and their combinations using a novel population attributable fraction (PAF) method that accounts for competing risk of death, risk factor interdependence and statistical uncertainty.

PARTICIPANTS: 365 173 adults from seven Australian cohort studies. We linked pooled harmonised individual participant cohort data with population-based cancer and death registries to estimate exposure-cancer and exposure-death associations. Current Australian exposure prevalence was estimated from representative external sources. To illustrate the utility of the new PAF method, we calculated fractions of cancers causally related to body fatness or both tobacco and alcohol consumption avoidable in the next 10 years by risk factor modifications, comparing them with fractions produced by traditional PAF methods.

FINDINGS TO DATE: Over 10 years of follow-up, we observed 27 483 incident cancers and 22 078 deaths. Of cancers related to body fatness (n=9258), 13% (95% CI 11% to 16%) could be avoided if those currently overweight or obese had body mass index of 18.5-24.9 kg/m2. Of cancers causally related to both tobacco and alcohol (n=4283), current or former smoking explains 13% (11% to 16%) and consuming more than two alcoholic drinks per day explains 6% (5% to 8%). The two factors combined explain 16% (13% to 19%): 26% (21% to 30%) in men and 8% (4% to 11%) in women. Corresponding estimates using the traditional PAF method were 20%, 31% and 10%. Our PAF estimates translate to 74 000 avoidable body fatness-related cancers and 40 000 avoidable tobacco- and alcohol-related cancers in Australia over the next 10 years (2017-2026). Traditional PAF methods not accounting for competing risk of death and interdependence of risk factors may overestimate PAFs and avoidable cancers.

FUTURE PLANS: We will rank the most important causal factors and their combinations for a spectrum of cancers and inform cancer control activities.

Published in Cancer

The aim of this analysis is to examine long-term trends in alcohol consumption and associations with lagged data on specific types of cancer mortality, and indicate policy implications. Data on per capita annual sales of pure alcohol; mortality for three alcohol-related cancers - larynx, esophageal, and lip, oral cavity, and pharynx; and per capita consumption of tobacco products were extracted at the country level. The Unobservable Components Model was used for this time-series analysis to examine the temporal association between alcohol consumption and cancer mortality, using lagged data, from 17 countries. Statistically significant associations were observed between alcohol sales and cancer mortality, in the majority of countries examined, which remained after controlling for tobacco use (P<0.05). Significant associations were observed in countries with increasing, decreasing, or stable trends in alcohol consumption and corresponding lagged trends in alcohol-related cancer mortality. Curtailing overall consumption has potential benefits in reducing a number of harms from alcohol, including cancer mortality. Future research and surveillance are needed to investigate, monitor, and quantify the impact of alcohol control policies on trends in cancer mortality.

Published in Cancer

We performed this meta-analysis to explore the precise quantification relationship between alcohol consumption and gastric cancer and to provide evidence for preventing gastric cancer. We searched PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science for articles published up to December 2016, and identified 23 cohort studies that included a total population of 5,886,792 subjects. We derived meta-analytic estimates using random-effects models, taking into account correlations between estimates. We also investigated the dose-response relationship between gastric cancer risk and alcohol consumption. We found that alcohol consumption increased gastric cancer risk, where the summary risk ratio was 1.17 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00-1.34; I2 = 79.6%, p < 0.05. The dose-response analysis showed that every 10 g/d increment in alcohol consumption was associated with 7% increased gastric cancer risk (95% CI 1.02-1.12; I2 = 28.9%, p = 0.002). This meta-analysis provides evidence that alcohol consumption is an important risk factor of the incidence of gastric cancer.

Published in Cancer

BACKGROUND: Ethanol in alcoholic beverages is a known carcinogen, but its association with aggressive prostate cancer (APC) is uncertain. Recent studies have shown a modest increase in risk of APC associated with heavy alcohol intake while association for beverage types remain inconsistent.

METHODS: Using a case-control design and self-administered questionnaire, we examined the association between APC (high grade and/or advanced stage) and frequency and quantity of alcohol intake 2 years prior to enrolment. Furthermore, we delineated the relationships for beverage-specific intakes of beer, red wine, white wine and spirits.

RESULTS: The study included 1282 APC cases and 951 controls. Beer intake frequency of 5 days per week was associated with increased risk compared with no beer intake (odds ratio=1.66, 95% confidence interval: 1.12-2.48) whereas wine was protective at all frequencies of consumption compared with those with no wine intake. For every 10 g per week ethanol intake from beer increase, the odds of advanced PC rose by 3% (OR=1.03, 95% CI: 1.02-1.05). No such increased risk was observed for red or white wine while a marginal dose-response relationship was found for spirits (OR=1.03, 95% CI: 0.99-1.07).

CONCLUSIONS: Heavy beer and possibly spirits consumption is associated with increased risk while no dose-response relationship was found for red or white wine. Wine drinkers at all frequencies have a decreased risk of APC compared with those who did not drink wine.Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases advance online publication, 18 April 2017; doi:10.1038/pcan.2017.12

Published in Cancer
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