Cancer not just down to genes, say expertsApril 20th, 2009 - 2:33 pm ICT by ANI
London, Apr 20 (ANI): Cancer is not just down to genes, unhealthy diet and poor lifestyle also contribute to the potentially fatal disease, say experts.
Dr Rachel Thompson, science programme manager for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) dispelled the myth insisting lack of exercise and being overweight - causes three times as many cases of cancer as genetics.
According to her, 39 per cent of the most common cancers, including breast and bowel, could be prevented through a good diet, exercising and keeping weight under control.
“It’s important to dispel the myth that cancer is just down to genes,” the Telegraph quoted Thompson as saying.
“The evidence shows that an unhealthy diet and low activity levels cause three times more cancer cases than genes.
“It could possibly be even more than this, if only five per cent of cancers are as a result of our genes, then an unhealthy diet and lifestyle could cause eight times more cancer cases.
“If people do have a family history, then this is important information for them personally, but overall this inherited genetic predisposition is uncommon.
“Specific genes for breast and bowel cancer have been identified, but these are rare and account for a very small percentage of cancer cases, whereas more than a third of the most common cancers could be prevented by following a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight,” she added.
The scientists suggest that although people inherit these genes have a higher risk of developing cancer, it is not certain whether they would go on to develop the disease.
They can cut their risk by eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, reducing their salt and alcohol intake and avoiding processed meats.
“When you add not smoking into the healthy lifestyle mix, this 39 per cent becomes even higher,” said Thompson.
“In fact those who have inherited genes should pay closer attention to their lifestyle as there is probably still a lot they can do to reduce their risk.
“Many think that inherited genes or simply bad luck are the only factors in cancer development and it’s about time that myth was laid to rest.
“It is clear that choosing a healthy diet and being more physically active are important ways to help prevent many cancers,” she added. (ANI)
- Gentle exercise could prevent thousands of cases of breast, bowel cancer - Aug 31, 2010
- Men 'more vulnerable to cancer than women due to poor lifestyles' - Nov 16, 2010
- Environment can subdue kids' natural urge to exercise - Apr 22, 2010
- 1 in 3 Brits believes cancer is down to fate - Dec 08, 2010
- Brisk walk keeps breast, bowel cancer at bay - Aug 31, 2010
- British women more prone to cancer across Europe - Aug 02, 2011
- Avoidable breast cancer risk factors identified - Jan 19, 2011
- Following healthy lifestyle tips could prevent bowel cancer - Oct 27, 2010
- Few ways to slash your risk of getting cancer - Apr 21, 2010
- Healthy lifestyle lowers mid-age cardiac risk - Mar 04, 2012
- Awareness key to beating breast cancer, say experts (Feb 4 is World Cancer Day) - Feb 03, 2012
- More than 50 pc cancers preventable - Apr 02, 2012
- Adhering to healthy lifestyle lowers breast cancer risk - Oct 12, 2010
- Canada's cancer death rate declines - May 10, 2012
- Pollution causing cancer in children in China - Jan 15, 2011
Tags: alcohol intake, bowel cancer, cancer cases, cancer research fund, cancers, dr rachel, eating a healthy diet, eight times, family history, fruits vegetables, genes, genetic predisposition, healthy lifestyle, lack of exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, processed meats, rachel thompson, thompson science, unhealthy diet, world cancer research fund