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Lifestyle blamed for 40 percent of cancers

Jan. 24, 2012 at 1:33 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Forty percent of cancers in women and 45 percent in men could be prevented by a healthier lifestyle, British researchers say.

A Cancer Research UK report found more than 100,000 cancers each year in Britain are caused by four lifestyle factors -- smoking, unhealthy diet, alcohol and being overweight -- and the number rises to around 134,000 a year when 14 lifestyle and environmental factors are taken into account, the Guardian reported.

The research showed that in Britain:

-- Smoking accounts for 23 percent of all cancers in men and 15.6 percent in women. It causes lung cancer as well as bladder, kidney, pancreatic and cervical cancer.

-- One-in-25 cancers is linked to work-related exposure to chemicals or asbestos, while one in 33 is linked to infections, such as the human papillomavirus, which causes most cases of cervical cancer.

-- Thirty-four percent of cancers in 2010, 106,845, were linked to smoking, diet, drinking alcohol and excess weight.

In men, 6.1 percent of cancer cases were linked to a lack of fruit and vegetables, 4.9 percent to occupation, 4.6 percent to alcohol, 4.1 percent to overweight and obesity and 3.5 percent to excessive sun exposure and tanning beds.

In women, 6.9 percent of cancer cases were linked to overweight and obesity, 3.7 percent to infections such as HPV, 3.6 percent to excessive sun exposure and tanning beds, 3.4 percent to lack of fruit and vegetables and 3.3 percent to alcohol, the research said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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