ICA takes an active part to World Cancer Day 2014

04/02/2014 15:01:09

ICA takes an active part to UICC World Cancer Day, February 4, 2014


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Key Statistical Highlights Presented at the Press Conference by the Ministry of Health and the Israel Cancer Association:


bul3 According to statistics published by the National Cancer Registry and the National Disease Control Center of the Ministry of Health, in 2011, 28,077 individuals were diagnosed with cancer in Israel, of whom, 24,992 were diagnosed with invasive cancer and 10,287 succumbed to the disease.


bul3 In an unprecedented move, the National Cancer Registry, and the National Disease Control Center of the Ministry of Health, published region-specific relative survival rates in Israel.


bul3 From 1991-2010 there has been an upward trend in relative survival rates for cancers in all regions, among both Jewish and Arab populations. The survival rates for women exceed those for men, and are higher among the Jewish population than among Arab society.


bul3 According to Dr. Lital Keinan Boker, Deputy Director of the National Disease Control Center, "Upon observing the region-specific relative survival rates in Israel, in all the regions there is an upward trend in survival in all population segments (Jewish and Arab) and in both genders, with the exception of lung cancer. No significant differences were found in overall relative survival rates between regions, and there were no differences in relative survival rates for breast cancer."


bul3 The main cancers that account for over 50% of overall cancer incidence in Israel are similar in Jewish and Arab men (prostate, lung and colorectal cancer) and in Jewish and Arab women (breast and colorectal cancer).


bul3 The invasive cancer incidence and mortality rates in recent years indicate a downward trend in the Jewish population (since 2008) and in the Arab population (since 2010).


bul3 Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in Jewish and Arab men and breast cancer is the most common cause of death among Jewish and Arab women.


bul3 According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization, cancer accounted for 8.2 million deaths worldwide in 2012.


bul3 In 4 years, the rate for diagnosis rose by 11% to 14.1 million diagnosed with cancer in 2012.


bul3 Global cancer incidence is expected to rise by 75% to 25 million new cases over the next 20 years.


bul3 The 2020 forecast: persons aged 65 and over will account for 60% of newly diagnosed malignancies, and individuals aged 65 and over are three times more likely to develop the disease than 45-64-year-olds; Prof. Robinson will discuss the implications.


bul3 A first-ever Israeli research study on this subject, financed by the ICA, reinforces the fact that breastfeeding is associated with a 60% reduction in risk for developing childhood leukemia and lymphoma.


bul3 Marking World Cancer Day, the UICC has chosen to dispel 4 common global myths about cancer.


bul3 In 2013, the ICA promoted the adoption of healthy lifestyles, prevention and early detection, through media campaigns in all the media channels and by distributing information and holding 12,867 free lectures at schools, in community centers, and at workplaces, etc., on topics such as smoking prevention, smoking cessation, living a healthy lifestyle (proper nutrition, avoiding obesity, and engaging in regular physical exercise), avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and "sun smart" behavior.


bul3 In addition, 1,467,627 printed informational materials were published and distributed free of charge at preschools, schools, institutions, organizations and among the general population.


bul3 As World Cancer Day approached, the ICA produced a unique animated clip through "Srutonim" Company. The clip was designated mainly for children and teens (but adults will also enjoy it) and conveys messages that emphasize the importance of a maintaining a healthy lifestyle in a humorous and amusing way. The clip is currently posted on YouTube.


New statistics of the National Cancer Registry and the National Disease Control Center of the Ministry of Health with the approach of World Cancer Day 2014


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif The statistics were prepared and adapted by Ms. Irena Lifshitz, Ms. Milena Weinstein, Ms. Rita Dichtiar, Ms. Yehudit Fishler, Dr. Brava Silberman, and Dr. Lital Keinan-Boker:


bul3 The statistics were presented by Dr. Lital Keinan-Boker, Deputy Director of the National Disease Control Center of the Ministry of Health.


bul3 In 2011, 28,077 new patients were diagnosed with malignant tumors in Israel, necessitating reporting to the National Cancer Registry.


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif 2011 Invasive Cancer Incidence:


bul3 24,992 individuals were diagnosed with invasive cancer: 11,959 men (10,306 Jewish men, 1,115 Arab men and 538 "others") and 13,033 women (11,296 Jewish women , 1,052 Arab women and 685 "others").


bul3 The main types of cancer accounting for more than 50% of the overall cancer incidence in Israel are similar in Jewish and Arab men (prostate, lung, colorectal, and other cancers) and are similar in Jewish and Arab women (breast, colorectal, and other cancers).


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Trends in Invasive Cancer Incidence 1990-2011:


bul3 The invasive cancer incidence rates indicate a downward trend from the second mid-half of the previous decade in the Jewish population (the 2000s).  A downward trend has been evident among the Arab population since 2010.


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif 2011 Cancer Mortality:


bul3 In 2011, there were 10,287 cancer-related deaths in Israel; 5,200 men (4,468 Jewish men, 528 Arab men and 204 "others") and 5,087 women (4,525 Jewish women, 336 Arab women and 226 "others").


bul3 The types of cancers that account for more than 50% of overall cancer mortality in Israel are similar among Jewish and Arab men (lung, colorectal, and other cancers), and among Jewish and Arab women (breast, colorectal and other cancers).


bul3 The age-standardized cancer mortality rates per 100,000 in 2011 were higher in men than in women in both population sectors.


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif International Comparisons:


bul3 Based on WHO statistics that were published on the Globocan site, it emerges that among the top 20 countries with the highest cancer incidence and mortality rates, Israeli men rank 19th highest in the world and Israeli women rank 15th highest both in incidence and in mortality.


bul3 The cancer incidence and mortality rates in all sites, with the exception of non-melanoma skin cancer, by gender, in the top 20 countries with the highest rates in the world:




Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Relative Cancer Survival in Israel 1991-2010:


bul3 The relative survival statistics are an important indicator as to the efficacy of early detection programs and cancer care quality.


bul3 In 1991-2010 the 5-year relative cancer survival rate rose in all population sectors (Jewish and Arab) and in both genders.  The relative survival rate for cancer among women exceeds that of men, and the relative survival rate for cancer among Jewish men exceeds that of Arab men.


bul3 Upon observing region-specific relative survival in Israel, in all regions there has been an upward trend in survival in all population groups (Jewish and Arab) and in both genders, with the exception of lung cancer.  No significant differences were found between the regions in relative survival in general, and in relative breast cancer survival in particular.


bul3 Please click here for the complete data file

bul3 Please click here to debunk the myths on cancer

bul3 Please click here to see the latest IARC world cancer statistics


Is there a need for a different strategy in view of an aging population?


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Prof. Eliezer Robinson, ICA Chairman and Past-President of the UICC:


bul3 The upward trend in life expectancy and the increase in the number of cancer survivors are to be commended; however, this also leads to an aging population and to a steadily growing number of senior citizens, which requires special consideration and deployment of the health system.


bul3 According to Central Bureau of Statistics data dating from 2012, the percentage of 65 year olds in OECD countries stood at 14.9; in Israel those who are 65 and over constitute about 10% of the population, however according to forecasts, by 2035, they will constitute 14.6% of the population.  By that year, the population age 65 and older will double and number some 1.66 million individuals.


bul3 It is known that 50% of all malignancies emerge in populations over the age of 65.


bul3 Individuals aged 65 and over are three times more likely to develop malignancies than the 45-64 year-old population.  The forecast for 2020 indicates that 60% of malignancies will emerge in the population aged 65 and over, and 70% of cancer-related deaths will occur among those aged 65 and over.


bul3 Apart from the high incidence rates at 65 years and older, there is also a variance as far as efficacy of absorbing drugs goes, and as a result of various background diseases at these ages there is also a different resistance to treatments, surgeries, etc.


bul3 The aforesaid data indicates the need for planning and deployment for treatment of a steadily growing number of elderly population and catering to their needs, as well seeing to the specialization training of geriatric oncologists and the training of a multi-professional comprehensive team of caregivers.


The ICA presents its prevention and early detection activity for World Cancer Day


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Lectures that were delivered by the ICA in 2013 - an annual summary:


bul3 Total lectures delivered on all topics at schools, community centers, workplaces, etc.: 12,867


bul3 In addition, the ICA produces and distributes free informational materials throughout the year at preschools, schools and other educational institutions.


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Informational materials distributed in 2013:



Total distribution for 2013


Sunsmart activity



Smoking hazards



Healthy lifestyle



Early detection



General information





The Israel Cancer Association Information Center Presents New Research Studies


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif New proof of the association between a healthy lifestyle and the risk of developing cancer:


bul3 Several new research studies that were recently published reinforce the results of previous studies that link a healthy lifestyle with cancer prevention.  The investigators monitored population groups that adopted the recommendations of the two important research organizations in the U.S.:  The World Cancer Research Fund, WCFR and the American Institute for Cancer Research, the AICR, as published in an important report dating from 2007.


bul3 The report presented scientific evidence regarding the association between nutrition, physical activity and body weight on the one hand and the risk of developing cancer on the other, and it sums up with the following guideline: you can reduce your risk of cancer by having a healthy lifestyle.


bul3 Please click the link to view the guidelines - Appendix A


The following are 3 recently published research studies which examined the association between adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research Recommendations for Cancer Prevention on the one hand and cancer incidence and mortality rates on the other:


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif In a research study that was published in the Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Journal in May 2013, investigators from the University of Minnesota in the United States examined the association between adherence to the Report Guidelines and the decrease in mortality among elderly female cancer survivors:


bul3 2,017 women who were diagnosed from 1986-2002 completed a questionnaire in 2004 in which they reported on their lifestyle in terms of body weight, physical activity and nutrition.   The extent of compliance with the guidelines was divided into 8 levels.


bul3 The research found that a higher level of compliance (6-8) with the Report Guidelines corresponded with 33% lower mortality rates, compared to a lower level of compliance (0-4).  The association between physical activity and low mortality rates was very strong between the subjects that were examined.


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif In a research study that was published in May 2013 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the same team of investigators from the University of Minnesota in the U.S. examined the impact of compliance with recommendations on the physical and emotional quality of life of 2,193 female cancer survivors:


bul3 Once the extent of compliance was classified at 7 different levels, it emerged that the stronger the compliance with the guidelines, the higher the quality of life of the survivors.


bul3 This link was particularly strong among survivors who made sure to engage in physical activity. Consequently, the investigators deduced that physical activity constitutes a key component in enhancing quality of life of female cancer survivors.


The ICA 'Steps to a Healthy Life' project, which operates in most medical centers in Israel, aims to expose breast cancer patients to the healthy advantages of physical activity, and to encourage them to build time in their schedule for planned, structured physical activity and make it part of their daily routine.  In addition, the program provides consultation and professional accompaniment to cancer patients who wish to join.   

The program offers either personal guidance or group sessions delivered by physical education and physical therapy professionals.  


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif In a research study published in July 2012 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, investigators from Imperial College in London sought to examine the association between adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research Recommendations for Cancer Prevention and the risk of developing different types of cancer:


bul3 The investigators examined the data of 386,355 participants in a European survey which was conducted in 9 countries on subjects related to quality of life including factors such as body weight, physical activity, vegetarianism, nutrition rich in meat, consumption of alcoholic beverages and breastfeeding, and classified the degree of adherence to the guidelines according to 6 different levels among men and 7 different levels among women.


bul3 A significant association emerged between adherence to the recommendations and the risk of developing cancer.  Every increase in the level of adherence indicated a 5% decrease in the risk of developing cancer of any kind, a 12% decrease in the risk of developing colorectal cancer and a 16% decrease in the risk of developing stomach cancer.  A significant association was also observed with regard to cancers of the following type: uterine, lung, kidney, liver and esophageal; however no association was found in terms of the following cancers: prostate, ovarian, pancreatic and bladder.


bul3 In this research study as well, the investigators deduced that a lifestyle which follows the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)/American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) Guidelines reduces the risk of developing several types of cancer.


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif The conclusions of these research studies also have significant implications in view of the publication of a new and comprehensive Report in 2013 issued by these organizations, specifying recommendations for the prevention of uterine/endometrial cancer:


Endometrial Cancer - 2013 Report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Prevention of Endometrial Cancer


bul3 The report specifies the evidence of preventive measures as observed in numerous research studies worldwide and its recommendations focus on the need for maintaining a healthy body weight, with an emphasis on avoiding stomach obesity, as well as a guideline to consume foods with a low glycemic index. 


bul3 The Report indicates that it may be assumed that drinking coffee and engaging in physical activity contribute to counteracting the development of this specific cancer.


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Association between Working Night Shifts and the Risk of Developing Lung Cancer:


bul3 A comprehensive research study conducted by investigators from Harvard University in the U.S., examined the relationship between working on rotating night shifts among nurses and the risk of developing lung cancer among women.


bul3 Rotating shifts included at least 3 night shifts per month, as well as alternating day and evening shifts, for 15 years and more.  The research study examined data regarding 78,612 nurses, and compared between women who worked rotating night shifts and those who didn't work rotating shifts at all. 


bul3 Personal details were collected in survey questionnaires that women completed upon the inception of this research study in 1988, as well as information about their working night shifts, data regarding smoking in the present and in the past and additional risk factors.


bul3 In 2008, upon the completion of 20 years of follow up, these data were collected and processed along with information that was collected in follow-up questionnaires, in interviews that were conducted with these women and data compiled about incidence of various types of lung cancer, among all the participants in the research study.  1,455 lung cancer patients of different types were documented in this research study.


bul3 The research results indicated a 28% higher risk of contracting lung cancer of different types, mainly small cell lung carcinoma, among women who work on rotating night shifts, compared to women who never worked rotating night shiftsSimilarly, regarding the women who worked rotating night shifts, among those who smoke at present, a 61% increase in the risk of contracting lung cancer was observed, as compared to women who stopped smoking, or who never smoked.


bul3 In short, the research results indicate that there is increased risk of developing lung cancer which is associated with prolonged work on rotating night shifts among smokers - a relationship which does not exist among non-smokers


bul3 According to the investigators, additional research studies on the impact of rotating shifts on the risk of developing lung cancer are necessary, particularly among smokers.  The investigators indicate the disruption of the biological clock as an additional risk factor which may impact the development of lung tumors among smokers, and recommend conducting additional research studies on this subject.


The research study was published in the November 2013 edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology


Big-Bullet-SQR.gif Association between duration of breastfeeding and risk of childhood leukemia and lymphoma*:


bul3 Leukemia and lymphoma are two of the most common childhood malignancies and account for 45% of all cancers occurring in children.  However, it should be kept in mind that out of 28,000 cancer patients diagnosed each year in Israel, about 400 of them are children who are diagnosed with different cancers, of whom 170 are diagnosed with leukemia or lymphoma.


bul3 Despite the fact that the 5-year survival rate for childhood cancer is on a significant upward trend, thanks to advanced treatment, cancer is still one of the leading causes of death among children, and the second cause of death among children up to the age of 14 in the United States and the third cause of death among young Israelis up to the age of 24.


bul3 In a research study conducted at the University of Haifa, funded by the Israel Cancer Association, the investigators sought to examine the hypothesis that breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing childhood leukemia and lymphoma.  Additionally, the investigators examined factors which in the past were found to have an impact on the risk of developing these types of cancers during childhood.   The investigators reported initial results of the research study.


bul3 The research study was conducted among mothers of 190 Israeli children who were diagnosed with cancer of the blood cells - leukemia, or lymphoma - cancer of the lymph nodes, aged 1-19, from 2005-2013 and were treated at pediatric hematology-oncology departments at large medical centers in Israel.   The mothers of 384 healthy children served as the control group who were selected from the close environment of the pediatric cancer patients.  In both groups, the mothers were interviewed via questionnaires.


bul3 Preliminary results of the research indicate that breastfeeding significantly reduces (by about 60%) the risk of developing childhood leukemia and lymphoma, as compared to non-breastfeeding.  4 months of exclusive breastfeeding and more, or a combination of breastfeeding and formula feeding, over the course of 12 months or more, reduce the risk of developing leukemia and lymphoma by 40% as opposed to breastfeeding for less than 4 months.


bul3 A uni-variate analysis of additional statistical data showed that other factors which significantly increase the risk of developing childhood leukemia or lymphoma, include, among other things, giving [children] snacks, sweets and processed foods in the first two years of life, or mothers who fail to take folic acid during the first trimester of pregnancy, babies who were not given Vitamin D according to recommendations, and parental smoking.


This research study is in the final data analysis phase and will be published in 2014.


* This research study was conducted by Dr. Lital Keinan-boker and Efrat Amitai of the University of Haifa, and was financed by the Israel Cancer Association.