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Lifestyle Can Prevent At Least 1/3 Of All Cancers #WorldCancerDay

Four years ago we released our first book and a few months later, Anna, a journalist, heard about it and wanted to book an interview. We accepted without blinking said yes- over the six months prior we had done quite a few interviews in everything from newspapers to live radio and TV, and not once had we encountered a journalist who questioned the importance of food in relation to health. Until we met Anna. We will not go into any details, but to make a long story short, the interview was about asking us why we, with trendy marketing, tried to trick people into thinking that what they eat could improve their health.

Today, World Cancer Day celebrates 20 years. In connection with this, the UICC (Union for International Cancer Control) has gone out and urged governments, organizations and individuals not to waste anymore time and to spread knowledge about how a healthy lifestyle can prevent a large portion of the world’s cancer cases. A while ago, the UICC market research company Ipsos was commissioned to investigate how much the general public know about the relationship between lifestyle and cancer. Unfortunately, the results showed that there is a big gap between different socio-economic groups and thus also a big difference in healthy lifestyle. The study showed that the most known risk factor for causing cancer was smoking, while one of the least known risks was being overweight.

When the study was released, Dr. Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer of the UICC stated:

“It is unacceptable that millions of people have a greater chance of developing cancer in their lifetime because they are simply not aware of the cancer risks to avoid and the healthy behaviours to adopt…”

And the UICC chairman, Professor Mary Gospodarowicz, added:

“To tackle the global cancer burden now and for the future, governments and decision makers across the international cancer community must come together to ensure that everyone is afforded every opportunity to take control of their cancer risk, no matter their education or income level.”

So just how much impact does our lifestyle really have on cancer? In a report from, the Dieticians’ National Association, it states that a third of the most common cancers could be prevented by healthy eating habits and physical activity. Healthy food not only reduces the risk of cancer, but also other common diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes as well as obesity (which increases the risk of cancer).

Obviously, there are no guarantees – even if we live a healthy lifestyle we could still suffer from cancer. But one thing we can all be sure of: there are many, far too many, who are unaware of how much they can do themselves to prevent cancer. With obesity rates on the rise in virtually all western world countries, so too will rise cancer. If the message about smoking could penetrate the barriers between socio-economic groups then this message can too!

Which makes us think of Anna again. We may not be able to change everyones opinions about the facts but we can help the facts find a platform so that the knowledge can spread and create the awareness needed for change! Share this post on any of your social media accounts and take part of #WorldCancerDay.

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