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Healthy lifestyles prevent one in five cases of cancer

Healthy lifestyles prevent one in five cases of cancer

Leading a healthier lifestyle can prevent one in five cases of cancer, research claims.

By simply eating better and exercising more, experts found you are more likely to ward off the likes of breast, colorectal and endometrial cancers, and even reduce the chances of death from the diseases.

Dr Lindsay Kohler, from the University of Arizona, and her colleagues investigated studies from over the past 10 years that looked into following diet and exercise guidelines by either the American Cancer Society (ACS) or the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR). While both instructions vary slightly, both organisations stress the importance of keeping a healthy body weight, working out regularly, limiting alcohol and tucking into plant-based foods.

Dr Kohler's final review delved into 12 studies examining the association between the guidelines and the cancer frequency and mortality.

It was found adhering to the cancer prevention guidelines was linked to a 10 to 45 per cent reduction in all cancer frequency, as well as a 14 to 61 per cent reduction in all cancer death rates. Furthermore, there were consistent reductions in the diagnosis of breast cancer - 19 to 60 per cent - and colorectal cancer in both males and females (27 to 52 per cent).

"Behaviours such as poor diet choices, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption and unhealthy body weight could account for more than 20 per cent of cancer cases, and could, therefore, be prevented with lifestyle modifications," Dr Kohler explained, adding that tobacco exposure is also taken into account.

There were no significant links found between the guidelines and the prevention of ovarian or prostate cancer, while lung cancer results varied depending on the study.

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