A British study found that 40% of cancer cases in the U.K. could be prevented if people changed their lifestyle. Poor lifestyle choices like abusing alcohol, overeating, smoking, and excess tanning boost cancer rates in the U.K.
- According to a Cancer Research UK report, over 2,500 cancer diagnoses can be prevented every week if people just smoked less or quit other bad habits.
- Smoking accounts for 15% of cancer cases in England.
Half of smokers diagnosed with cancer develop lung cancer, but smoking can lead to bowel cancer, bladder cancer, or oesophageal cancer among many others.
Lead author Katrina Brown warned of the growing obesity rates in the U.K., although smoking rates are dropping 1% every year. Being overweight or obese is another risk factor for cancer, with 6.3% of cancer cases being linked to excess weight.
The CRUK research team hopes authorities would help curb cancer rates through tobacco and junk food taxes, advertising bans, and dull packaging for cigarettes. Also, the food industry should be forced to reduce the salt, added sugar and fat intake in its products.
Is Obesity the “New Smoking”?
Researchers found that obesity could soon become riskier than smoking and should be called “the new smoking”. The biggest problem is that people consider that being overweight is normal.
We need to get back down to what is the normal while recognizing the challenges individuals face,
CRUK researcher Linda Bauld said.
The research team also found that cancer rates in the U.K. have increased 7% over the last ten years. With and aging and growing population, the rates are expected to climb 2% every year.
The latest findings appeared in the British Journal of Cancer.
Other lifestyle choices that increase cancer risk include alcohol abuse, low-fiber diets, and HPV infections. Each of these risk factors accounts for 3% of cancer cases. UV radiation is behind 4% of cancer cases.
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