The Role of Epidemiology in the Detection and Reduction of Cancer Risks

Conference paper


Epidemiology, that is the study of the variation in the incidence of disease under the conditions of life experienced by different groups of people, has been one of the most productive sources of information about the causes of cancer in man. It has demonstrated that all cancers that are at all common anywhere in the world vary in incidence with place, time, or social group (and often with all three) in such a way that, with few exceptions, very little of the variation can be attributed to group differences in genetic susceptibility, however important such differences may be in distinguishing between the risks to individuals within each group. It has, moreover, demonstrated that these differences are so large that some 80% or 90% of all the cancers that occur annually throughout the world must, in principle, be avoidable.


Gastric Cancer Cancer Risk Cervical Cancer Linear Energy Transfer Childhood Leukaemia 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Doll

There are no affiliations available

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