British cancer rates as bad as America's

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Lifestyles in the UK are so unhealthy that the country is matching America on the number of preventable cancer cases, an expert says today.

Eating a diet full of fruit and vegetables, taking regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight could prevent about a third (80,000) of cancer cases in the UK, figures show.

But a new analysis reveals that although the UK has a lower level of obesity than the States, Britons drink more alcohol so the cancer rates are similar.

Professor Martin Wiseman, scientific and medical adviser for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), said: "In the US, we estimate that for the seven types of cancer that are weight related, just under 20 per cent could be prevented through people being a healthy weight. In the UK, this figure is about 17 per cent.

"But one reason the overall situation in the UK is as bad is the amount of alcohol we drink. This means we need to do more to raise awareness that alcohol increases cancer risk."

Each year in the UK there are estimated to be 4,992 preventable cases of mouth, pharynx and larynx cancer, 5,871 of oesophageal cancer, 12,878 of lung cancer and 3,471 avoidable cases of stomach cancer.