Scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and partners highlight the intersections between the global cancer epidemic and the threat of climate change, in a new article published in the journal Molecular Oncology. The authors point out areas where economic activities that affect the environment also affect the occurrence of noncommunicable diseases, including cancer, and of infectious diseases.
The researchers identify gaps in knowledge that require further investments in research and policy, and present a range of obvious and less obvious elements that have effects on population health and on climate change, deforestation, and land and water use. They draw attention to the non-negligible planetary footprint of several agents classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) by the IARC Monographs programme, which identifies carcinogenic hazards.
The scientists call for interventions that are designed to maximize the so-called co-benefits of preventing diseases and jointly mitigating climate change, through an approach that considers the multiple externalities of different economic activities and their combined impacts.
Vineis P, Huybrechts I, Millett C, Weiderpass E
Climate change and cancer: converging policies
Mol Oncol, Published online 22 September 2020;