Healthy Living Could Cut Cancer Rates

Armen Hareyan's picture
Healthy Living and Cancer

A simpler diet, more exercise and better weight control could prevent more than 40 percent of breast and bowel cancers in developed countries, a World Cancer Research Fund report released Wednesday says.

According to the report, almost a third of the 12 most common cancers in the United States, including throat and lung cancers, could be prevented by adopting lifestyle changes. It estimated that 45 percent of colon cancer cases and 38 percent of breast cancer cases were preventable by adopting the small changes. The figures do not, however, account for the impact of cigarette smoking, which is responsible for about a third of all cancers, BBC News reported.


A panel of 23 experts made 48 recommendations for governments, households and schools to curb an expected uptick in cancer cases worldwide in the coming years. "The good news is that this is not inevitable," project chairman Dr. Martin Wiseman, a physician in clinical practice focusing on diabetes and a visiting professor in human nutrition at Southampton University, told the BBC.

Among the panel's recommendations were for governments to plan more walking and cycling routes, and for schools, workplaces and institutions to cut unhealthy foods from vending machines. The food and drinks industry should make public health its top priority in all stages of production, and household shoppers should be more diligent in their purchases, carefully examining labels to ensure they are choosing the healthiest products.

The report was published by the World Cancer Research Fund in conjunction with the American Institute for Cancer Research.