Cancer Can Be Prevented - Irish Cancer Society

The Irish Cancer Society has said that even in the face of rising cancer incidence, it is possible for everyone to reduce their cancer risk by adopting a healthy lifestyle and for cancer survivors to cut their risk of a recurrence.

With a study published in the British Journal of Cancer stating that 40% of total cancer risk in the UK population can be attributed to certain lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, alcohol and physical activity, the Society says everyone can cut their risk of getting cancer.

"For many there is a sense that they have no control over their cancer risk," said John McCormack, CEO of the Irish Cancer Society. "This is a myth. In fact, specific inherited genes only cause about 5-10% of all cancers. For the vast majority of us, the risk of getting cancer can be reduced by changes in our lifestyle. Cutting smoking, reducing the amount of alcohol you drink and maintaining a healthy weight are key to cancer prevention."

The Irish Cancer Society says that by eating plenty of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and pulses, a person can reduce the risk of cancer. Studies show that up to 40% of cancers, in particular, colon cancer, and up to 30% of breast cancers, can be prevented by being physically active and can reduce a person's risk of secondary cancer.

On World Cancer Day, the Irish Cancer Society wants public health policy to focus on preventative measures.


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