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A third of all cancers in the UK are potentially preventable, finds review

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d7999 (Published 07 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7999
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

A third (more than 100 000 cases) of all cancers in the United Kingdom are caused by just four risk factors and are potentially preventable, concludes a comprehensive review of the evidence.

The researchers estimated that 106 845 cancers in the UK in 2010 were associated with smoking, poor diet, alcohol, and excess weight. And when all 14 lifestyle and environmental risk factors were included, this figure rose to 134 000 or (43% of the total).

The review, published as a supplement in the British Journal of Cancer (http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/groups/cr_common/@nre/@new/@pre/documents/generalcontent/cr_080626.pdf), found that 45% of all cancers in men and 40% in women could be prevented. The review looked …

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