New research has found that close to half of all cancers could be prevented if people made healthier lifestyle choices.
Researchers from the Cancer Research Institute in the UK studied data from 2007 to 2011 and discovered that 587,000 cancers could have been avoided simply by making healthier lifestyle choices.
They found that the Top 4 worst lifestyle choices were:
1.) Smoking Tobacco: According to the study, 587,000 people living in the UK developed cancer within just five years of taking up smoking. Smoking was also linked to the development of 1 in 5 cancers, and most commonly manifests as lung, throat or mouth cancer.
2.) Processed Foods: Over 145,000 cancers were believed to be directly caused by diets high in processed foods with the worst offenders being processed meat and dairy. They also determined that a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables increased the risk. Obesity also contributed to 88,000 cancers and alcohol consumption contributed to 62,200.
Dr. Rachel Thompson, head of research interpretation at the World Cancer Research Fund stated-
We know that being overweight or obese is strongly associated with nine cancers, and drinking alcohol is strongly associated with several cancers. We also know that eating vegetables and fruits, and being physically active, decreases the risk of several cancers and that eating red and processed meat increases the risk of bowel cancer.
3.) UV Exposure: Exposure to UV radiation from sunlight and tanning beds was believed to be involved in 55,900 cases and most commonly resulted in skin cancer.
4.) Physical Inactivity: A lack of physical activity contributed to 16,500 cancers whereas those who regularly engaged in physical activity decreased their risk of developing cancer.
Professor Max Parkin, a Cancer Research statistician at Queen Mary University of London stated-
There’s now little doubt that lifestyle choices can have a big impact on cancer risk, with research from around the world pointing out the same key risk factors. Leading a healthy lifestyle doesn’t guarantee someone won’t get cancer, but we can stack the odds in our favour by taking positive steps.