Healthy Living Could Cut Cancer Across The Globe, Landmark Report

February 26, 2009 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment


A landmark report from cancer experts says that many cancers could be prevented throughout the globe if people adopted healthier diets,

exercised more and controlled their weight. The overall figures show that about a third of the most common cancers in high-income countries and a

quarter in lower-income countries could be prevented in this way; the estimates exclude smoking which alone accounts for about a third of

cancers.



The report, titled “Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention” and released today Thursday 26th February, was produced by World Cancer

Research Fund (WCRF).



Its overall message is that governments to households and individuals, across all sections of society, should give higher priority to public health

and cancer prevention in particular.



The figures show for example that over 40 per cent of bowel and breast cancers in the UK could be prevented if people ate more healthily, exercised more

and maintained a healthy weight. The figures for the US are very similar, and there are some similarly important results for lower income countries.



The table below shows the percentage of cancers that would be prevented for the US, UK, Brazil and China, for each of 12 types of cancer and overall.



Cancer type
US  
UK  
Brazil
China
Mouth, pharynx and larynx   
63
67

63
44
Oesophagus
69
75

60
44
Lung
36
33

36
38
Stomach
47
45

41
33
Pancreas
39
41

34
14
Gall bladder
21
16

10
6
Bowel
45
43

37
17
Liver
15
17

6
6
Breast
38
42

28
20
Endometrium (womb)
70
56

52
34
Prostate
11
20

n/a
n/a
Kidney
24
19

13
8
All 12 cancers combined
34
39

30
27




Two independent teams of experts went through the evidence on how changes in public health policy and interventions might change people’s lifestyle enough to

make an impact on these figures. Then 23 world-wide experts made 48 recommendations that different sectors of society such as schools, institutions,

media and governments should follow in order to effect the changes necessary, including:

  • Schools should give children healthy food and make sure they exercise.

  • Unhealthy food should not be available in schools, institutions and workplaces, for instance in vending machines.

  • Governments should make local authorities provide widespread walking and cycling paths and routes to encourage people to be more physically

    active.


  • All countries should make laws that incorporate the UN recommendations on breastfeeding.

  • Food and drinks processors should put public health as the highest priority at all stages of production.

  • Health professionals should become leaders in informing the public about health, especially about what they can do to prevent cancer.

  • There should be independently produced guides and food labels to help people make the best choices for their families when buying food.


Chair of the WCRF Panel, Professor Sir Michael Marmot told the press that:



“This report shows that by making relatively straightforward changes, we could significantly reduce the number of cancer cases around the

world.”



“When people think of policy reports, they often think they are only relevant to governments. But while governments are important in this, the

evidence shows that when it comes to cancer prevention, all groups in society have a role to play,” he added.



“Everyone needs to make public health in general, and cancer prevention in particular, more of a priority,” urged Marmot.



Click here for the Report.



Sources: World Cancer Research Fund UK press release.



Written by: Catharine Paddock, PhD


Copyright: Medical News Today

Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today




[Via http://www.medicalnewstoday.com]

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