Diet, exercise, weight curbs could cut cancer rates by third

Feb 26, 2009

A third of common cancers could be prevented if people shifted to a sounder diet, exercised more and controlled their weight, researchers said on Thursday.

The report, by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, analysed incidence of 12 types of cancer in the United States, Britain, Brazil and China.

Around a third of these cancers could be prevented by better nutrition, physical activity and obesity controls, it estimated.

The figure does not include the benefits of tackling cancer by stopping smoking. Tobacco use alone accounts for about a third of cancers.

"On a global level every year, there are millions of cancer cases and this is why we need to act now before the situation gets even worse," said the report's leader, Martin Wiseman.

"We are expecting a substantial increase in cancer rates, with the ageing population, obesity rates soaring, and with people becoming less active and increasingly consuming highly-processed and energy-dense food and drinks.

"The good news is that this is not inevitable and we still have the chance to avert a crisis before it is too late."

The report, Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention, makes four dozen recommendations, authored by 23 leading cancer experts.

It includes the advice that schools and workplaces bar unhealthy foods from vending machines and governments encourage cycling paths and walking routes to promote physical exercise.

According to a report issued on February 2 by health foundation and consultancy Axios International, 12 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed worldwide in 2008, resulting in 7.6 million deaths.

There could be 20 million new cases of cancer each year, and 13 million deaths, by 2030, it estimated.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Team identifies source of most cases of invasive bladder cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why bacteria are beautiful, and why we need them

Mar 26, 2014

For every one of the 7 billion people on Earth, up to 10 times that many bacteria have taken up residence in and on them. "We provide a nice home for them," said Nobel laureate Sir Richard Roberts, who was ...

Could alien life cope with a hotter, brighter star?

Mar 24, 2014

The stars in the night sky shine in myriad hues and brightnesses—piercing blues, clean whites, smoldering crimsons. Every star has a different mass, the basic characteristic that determines its size, lifespan, ...

Recommended for you

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

3 hours ago

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Unraveling the 'black ribbon' around lung cancer

Apr 17, 2014

It's not uncommon these days to find a colored ribbon representing a disease. A pink ribbon is well known to signify breast cancer. But what color ribbon does one think of with lung cancer?

User comments : 0

More news stories

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.