10 facts on environmental and occupational health and cancer

September 2011

A patient with cancer lies on a hospital bed
WHO/C. de Bode

Globally roughly 19% of all cancers are estimated to be attributable to the environment, including work settings. Understanding some of the facts about environmental and occupational health and cancer can help mitigate the risks. Decreasing exposure to carcinogens also reduces health care costs, and contributes to the overall well-being of communities. Environmental and occupational interventions are critical to achieving a reduction of cancer.

Cancer is a leading cause of death with 7.6 million deaths, and 12.7 million new cases in 2008. Cancer is found in both rich countries and poorer countries. Currently, more than 70% of all cancer deaths are reported from low- and middle-income countries, a figure that is predicted to increase. *

Read 10 facts on environmental and occupational health and cancer

* The figures in this fact file reflect the latest available global data.

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