Lifestyle Changes Proven to Prevent Almost Half of Possible Cancers, Studies Say

Zoe Dixon
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Cancer has become a worldwide epidemic. Statistics in the US show that nearly 4 out of 10 men and women will get diagnosed over their lifetimes.

Unhealthy lifestyle choices, genetics, and even some aspects of the environment can be contributing factors to cancer.

Physical carcinogens like UV rays or ionizing radiation have long been known for their links to the disease; however chemical carcinogens such as alcohol are also linked - revealing just how destructive our often overlooked habits can be when it comes to reducing our risk from this life-threatening illness.

Cancer does not just stem from environmental factors, but also from naturally-occurring bacteria and viruses. For instance, infectious agents like Helicobacter pylori—contracted through food or water consumption—and HPV can both lead to cancer development in humans.

Knowing how you may be exposed is key to preventing the spread of these biological carcinogens that are potentially life-threatening.

Studies in highly-developed countries like the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Australia have revealed that more than a third of all cancer cases may be linked to external risk factors and not genetics.

That’s great news because it means they are at least in part preventable.

The American Cancer Society's analysis found this number to be particularly high - 42 percent - while other nations such as Canada saw it ranging between 33-37 percent among adults over 30 years old; 38 percent in the United Kingdom; and a slightly lower 32% for Australians.

Therefore, taking steps towards healthier living will help reduce the risk of such fatalities and prevent cancer by almost 50%.

These are the factors that you can eliminate from your life and live disease-free:


While it is often repeated that smoking leads to cancer, what might be less known is how heavily the habit contributes to mortality rates. In fact, one out of every three deaths from cancer is linked directly to smoking – a statistic that provides an alarming scale for this preventable risk factor.

According to a study conducted on 220,000 individuals, cigarette smoke can pose a real danger in any part of your body - ranging from oral cavity tissue all the way down into the liver, bladder, and beyond.

Shockingly, half of the smokers will develop some form of malignancy by their 80th birthday while 14% are expected to contract fatal lung cancer unless they quit in time.


A startling statistic reveals that Americans are becoming dangerously unaware of their own weight gain, with the second-leading preventable cause of cancer being obesity. Research shows 7.8 percent of all new cancer cases in the US could be linked to patients who were overweight at diagnosis - but alarmingly a third of them had no idea they even fell into this category.

Recent research reveals that obesity is linked to a startling 13 cancers, such as postmenopausal breast cancer and colorectal cancer. With the most reported cases of postmenopausal breast cancer in women and colorectal cancer in men, the need for weight management has never been more fitting - or urgent!


Recent research by the Lancet suggests that there is no safe quantity of alcohol consumption for our bodies. Even ingesting small amounts has been linked to an increased risk of developing multiple forms of cancer, including oropharyngeal, esophageal, and stomach as well as liver, breast, and colorectal cancers.

Therefore avoiding any kind of alcoholic beverage completely appears to be the safest approach for ensuring good health over time.

Researchers have found that drinking alcohol can be a double-edged sword when it comes to cancer risk; on one hand, impairment of the body's ability to absorb vital nutrients such as Vitamin A and folic acid could contribute significantly to an increased likelihood of certain types of cancers.

On the other, alcoholic drinks may contain potentially dangerous pollutants like nitrites or asbestos fibers which are linked with increasing levels of estrogen, leading in turn to higher risks for breast cancer.


Radiation is a silent predator that has the potential to wreak havoc within our bodies, attacking and changing cellular DNA. Ultimately, this can lead to devastating cancers if we are exposed for too long, repeatedly, or at high concentrations.

There are 2 types of radiation that will lead to cancer: one is the ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun or from tanning beds which results in skin and eye cancer, totaling almost 5% of all cancers in the US.

The other is ionizing radiation from X-rays, CT scans, fluoroscopy, and nuclear medicine scans, which carry a high risk for developing various types of cancer, such as leukemia, thyroid or breast cancer, or even myeloma in some patients.

Sedentary lifestyle

Too little exercise can be a major contributing factor to several types of cancer, with inactive individuals facing significantly higher risks.

Decreased physical activity is linked to an increased risk for colon (14 percent), postmenopausal breast (11 percent), and other cancers like prostate, uterine, and lung cancer. These elevated statistics are particularly concerning; sedentary people were found unanimously at greater danger from colorectal cancer (+24%), endometrial (+32%), and even lung (-21%).


Research findings point to infection as an underlying cause of cancer in the US. Amongst these are Human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HPC), HIV, and Helicobacter pylori indicating that preventive measures must be taken against contagious viral or bacterial infections.


Research indicates that dietary habits significantly impact the risk of developing colorectal, stomach, oropharyngeal, and laryngeal cancers.

Specifically, a diet high in fat, protein calories and red meat has been linked to an increased likelihood of cancer development; while insufficient fiber intake, as well as low intakes of fruits and vegetables, have also shown correlations with various forms of malignancies including lung cancer.


Our well-being lies firmly in our own hands. Our lifestyle choices can significantly impact the number of preventable diseases we are susceptible to – some of them deadly, like cancer, which could be stopped from taking hold with a mindful approach toward what nourishes us and how we look after ourselves. It's time for each one of us to take ownership of our health by deciding on what is most important when it comes down to well-being!

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Quite bizarre.


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