One in four cancers caused by unhealthy lifestyle

Leading an unhealthy lifestyle could be the cause of one in four cancers, says a new study

Leading an unhealthy lifestyle could lead to one in four cancers, the most comprehensive study to date has discovered.


Cancer research UK found that around 134,000 of cancers a year are the result of a poor lifestyle.

‘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,’ says Professor Max Parkin, a Cancer Research UK epidemiologist.

‘Looking at all the evidence, it’s clear that around 40 per cent of all cancers are caused by things we mostly have the power to change.’

The startling findings show that lifestyle may be a bigger factor than was previously thought in women in particular.

‘Among women, we didn’t expect being overweight to have a greater effect than alcohol,’ says Professor Parkin.

The most comprehensive study to date also discovered that numerous lifestyle choices, including lack of exercise and too much alcohol, can also contribute.

The findings, published in the British Journal of Cancer, stated that smoking was the biggest factor, causing almost one in five of all cancers.

Scientists found that 40 per cent of cancers in women, and 45 per cent in men, could be prevented if lifestyle choices were improved.

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