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Many cancers could be prevented

Almost half (45%) of all cancers in men and 40% in women could be prevented, according to a major study.

The Cancer Research UK report found more than 100,000 cancers each year in the UK are caused by four lifestyle factors - smoking, unhealthy diets, alcohol and people being too fat.

This rises to around 134,000 cases a year when 14 lifestyle and environmental factors are taken into account.

Smoking is by far the biggest lifestyle contributor to a person's risk of developing cancer, accounting for 23% of all cancers in men and 15.6% in women.

As well as lung cancer, it is implicated in other forms of the disease including bladder, kidney, pancreatic and cervical cancer.

The charity said the review, which is published in the British Journal of Cancer, is the most comprehensive to date.

One in 25 cancers is linked to a person's job, such as being exposed to chemicals or asbestos, while one in 33 is linked to infections, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most cases of cervical cancer.

Overall, 34% of cancers in 2010 (106,845) were linked to smoking, diet, drinking alcohol and excess weight.

In men, 6.1% (9,600) of cancer cases were linked to a lack of fruit and vegetables, 4.9% (7,800) to occupation, 4.6% (7,300) to alcohol, 4.1% (6,500) to overweight and obesity and 3.5% (5,500) to excessive sun exposure and sunbeds.

In women, 6.9% (10,800) were linked to overweight and obesity, 3.7% (5,800) to infections such as HPV, 3.6% (5,600) to excessive sun exposure and sunbeds, 3.4% (5,300) to lack of fruit and vegetables and 3.3% (5,100) to alcohol.


From Belfast Telegraph