Nearly half of cancers (over 130,000) diagnosed in the UK each year are caused by avoidable life choices including smoking, drinking and diet, research reveals.
Smoking is the biggest culprit, causing 23% of cases in men and 15.6% in women, says the Cancer Research UK report.
This is followed in men by a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in the diets, and in women it is being overweight.
Lead author of the report published in the British Journal of Cancer, Prof Max Parkin said, “Many people believe cancer is down to fate or ‘in the genes’ and that it is the luck of the draw whether they get it.”
“Looking at all the evidence, it’s clear that around 40% of all cancers are caused by things we mostly have the power to change.”
“We didn’t expect to find that eating fruit and vegetables would prove to be so important in protecting men against cancer”
Today (14th May 2012) a poll suggests that just one in five of us in the UK eats the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, a poll for World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) suggests.
The WCRF says its survey of more than 2,000 UK adults shows people still find achieving the five-a-day goal difficult to achieve.
It is urging people to eat “just one more portion” for a healthier diet, which would increase cancer protection.
The sex split
Prof Parkin said: “We didn’t expect to find that eating fruit and vegetables would prove to be so important in protecting men against cancer. And among women we didn’t expect being overweight to be more of a risk factor than alcohol.”
In total the report showed 14 lifestyle and environmental factors, even things such as where you live and where you work. All together they are thought to cause 134,000 cancers in the UK each year.
Only 1 in 25 of cancers is to do with a person’s job, such as being exposed to things like chemicals or asbestos.
Some of the risk factors are well known, such as smokings link with lung cancer.
However, others are less recognised.
- Breast cancer, nearly a tenth of the risk comes from being overweight or obese, far outweighing the impact of whether or not the woman breastfeeds or drinks alcohol.
- Oesophageal or gullet cancer, half of the risk comes from eating too little fruit and veg, while only a fifth of the risk is from alcohol, the report shows.
- Stomach cancer, a fifth of the risk comes from having too much salt in the diet, data suggests.
- Mouth and throat cancer, are caused almost entirely by lifestyle choices.
Hypnotherapy can really help to change the behaviours and beliefs that underpin the lifestyle choices that we make. Most of us make the choices we do because of beliefs and experiences that have shaped the way we feel about ourselves and how we believe others view us.
These beliefs are usually based on outdated and/or fictitious ideas which fortunately are subject to change. Using hypnotherapy we can help the client re-evaluate and re-assess the things they believe and from that create new behaviours that are more appropriate to their current life which helps them make healthy choices and feel comfortable with them.