4 in 10 Cases of Cancer Are Preventable


How many cancer risk behaviors are part of your life?

According to Cancer Research UK, four in 10 cases of cancer, attributable to lifestyle choices such as smoking, diet and exercise, could have been avoided.

Also on the list of cancer-related behaviors are catching too many UV rays, drinking alcohol, and being overweight.

Cancer Research UK based their conclusions about the 40 percent preventable rate — or “population attributable fraction,” as the organization calls it — on research funded by the group itself.

So how does Cancer Research UK advise people who wish to minimize their chances of developing cancer?

First and foremost is not smoking, according to the group. Smoking tobacco accounts for over half of preventable cases of cancer.

Graphic from Cancer Research UK’s report

“[I]t’s difficult to exaggerate the impact smoking has on your body,” the group advised. “It’s not just the 14 different types of cancer, smoking is a leading cause of heart disease, it damages the lungs and causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and a range of other health problems like diabetes, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, blindness… the list goes on.”

But in general, avoiding cancer involves staying healthy and active: exercise, a well-balanced diet, and refraining from drinking large amounts of alcohol, are all part. And while exercising, stay out of UV rays as much as possible, the organization advises.

By Cheryl Bretton