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40 per cent of cancers caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices like smoking

Published on 07/12/2011

Nearly half of all cancers diagnosed in the UK each year are caused by poor lifestyle choices, according to a survey carried out by Cancer Research UK.

Researchers based their calculations on predicted numbers of cases for 18 different types of cancer in 2010, using UK incidence figures for the period between 1993 and 1997.

Eating a healthy diet can help prevent developing common cancers

The report, published in the British Journal of Cancer, shows that around 14 lifestyle and environmental choices combine to cause 134,000 cancers in the UK each year, including smoking, drinking, and eating the wrong things.

Tobacco topped the cancer causing list for both men and women- 23 per cent of cases of cancer in men are caused by smoking, and 15.6 per cent in women.

In men, 6.1 per cent of cancer cases were linked to a lack of fruit and vegetables, 4.9 per cent to occupation, 4.6 per cent to alcohol, 4.1 per cent to obesity and 3.5 per cent to excessive sun exposure and sunbeds.

In women, 6.9 per cent were linked to obesity, 3.7 per cent to infections such as HPV, 3.6 per cent to excessive sun exposure and sunbeds, 3.4 per cent to lack of fruit and vegetables and 3.3 per cent to alcohol.

Lead author Professor Max Parkin said: "Many people believe cancer is down to fate or 'in the genes' and that it is the luck of the draw whether they get it.

"Looking at all the evidence, it's clear that around 40% of all cancers are caused by things we mostly have the power to change."

"We didn't expect to find that eating fruit and vegetables would prove to be so important in protecting men against cancer. And among women we didn't expect being overweight to be more of a risk factor than alcohol."

Certain private medical insurance policies will reward customers for living a healthy lifestyle. PruHealth’s Vitality scheme offers discounts with health partners as well as tools to help you monitor your health.

With the scheme, you can improve your Vitality status by eating healthily, not smoking and exercising regularly. PruHealth with then reward you with some of your premium back in cash. Compare health insurance quotes online now for a great incentive to get healthy in the New Year.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Health
40 per cent of cancers caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices like smokingNearly half of all cancers diagnosed in the UK each year are caused by poor lifestyle choices, according to a survey carried out by Cancer    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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