More than 2,500 cancer cases a week could be avoided
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Credit: Cancer Research UK

More than 135,500 cases of cancer a year in the UK could be prevented through lifestyle changes, according to new figures from a Cancer Research UK landmark study published today.

This equates to 37.7% of all cancers diagnosed each year in the UK – rising to 41.5% in Scotland.

The latest figures, calculated from 2015 cancer data, found that smoking remains the biggest preventable cause of cancer despite the continued decline in smoking rates.

Tobacco smoke caused around 32,200 cases of cancer in men (17.7% of all male cancer cases) and around 22,000 (12.4%) in women in 2015, according to the research published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Excess weight is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer. Around 22,800 (6.3%) cases of cancer a year are down to being overweight or obese. This amounts to around 13,200 (7.5%) cases of cancer in women and around 9,600 (5.2%) in men.

Obesity causes 13 types of cancer, including bowel, breast, womb and kidney. And the results suggest that more than 1 in 20 cancer cases could be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight.

The third biggest preventable cause

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