Social disparities, health risk behaviors, and cancer

Silvio Buscemi, Giuseppe Grosso, Stefano Marventano, Antonio Biondi, Stefania Rametta, Francesca Nolfo, Antonio Mistretta, Giuseppe Grosso, Antonio Biondi, Fabio Galvano, Santi Gangi, Silvio Buscemi, Francesco Basile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Overall cancer incidence rates decreased in the most recent time period in both men and women, largely due to improvements in surgical therapeutic approaches (tertiary prevention) and screening programs (secondary prevention), but differences in cancer incidence and survival according to socioeconomic status are documented worldwide. Health risk behaviors, defined as habits or practices that increase an individual’s likelihoodof harmful health outcomes, are thought to mediate such inequalities.Discussion: Obesity has been related with increased cancer incidence and mortality due to imbalance of leptinand adiponectin which are connected to activation of PI3K, MAPK, and STAT3 pathways and decreasing insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 and mTOR signaling via activation of 5 AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), respectively. Physical activity has been associated to prevent cancer by the aforementioned obesity-related mechanisms, but also increasing level of circulating vitamin D, which has been related to lower risk of several cancers, and increasing prostaglandin F2a and reducing prostaglandin E2, which are both related with cancer prevention and promotion, respectively. A large number of different substances may induce themselves a direct cytotoxicity and mutagenic action on cells by smoking, whereas alcohol promote immune suppression, the delay of DNA repair, inhibition of the detoxification of carcinogens, the production of acetaldehyde, and the contribution to abnormal DNA methylation. The combined smoking and alcohol drinking habits have been shown to increasecancer risk by smoke action of increasing the acetaldehyde burden following alcohol consumption and alcohol action of enhancing the activation of various procarcinogens contained in tobacco smoke.Conclusions: Interventions at the social level may be done to increase awareness about cancer risks and promote changing in unhealthy behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalBMC Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Social disparities, health risk behaviors, and cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this