Around 40% of cancers in women and 45% of those in men could be prevented by a healthier lifestyle, including drinking less, smoking less and losing weight, according to the most comprehensive study of the risk factors to date.
Cancer Research UK, which funded the work, says that around 134,000 people could be spared a cancer diagnosis if they took more care of themselves.
Areas to think about:
- How much impact does advice about lifestyle change actually have on the population?
- Given the large impact that factors under one’s personal control have on health, should there be more emphasis on personal responsibility in determining how much healthcare is freely provided, and how much is subject to a fee? How would such a system cope with multifactorial illnesses like cancer where both genetic and environmental risk factors apply?