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Warning over lifestyle cancer surge

Monday September 13th 2010

One of the world's biggest challenges is the dealing with the increasing prevalence of cancer caused by unhealthy lifestyles, according to an academic.

The rise of such cancers is comparable in scale to the problem of providing ordinary people with clean water in the 19th century, Martin Wiseman said.

Mr Wiseman, a professor who advises the World Cancer Research Fund, said millions of people will die too early because of the disease.

Rising rates of certain types of cancer is linked to the fact that people's life expectancy has increased in recent decades in some parts of the world.

However it is claimed that around 80,000 cases of cancer a year can be stopped in the UK if diet and exercise habits were improved.

Living a healthier life could apparently remove around one in three common cancers in wealthier countries and around one in four common cancers in poorer countries.

According to the UN, global cancer death rates will double by 2030.

The number of people with cancer around the world has sharply increased over the past 30 years. In 1980, a total of 6.3 million cases of cancer were recorded globally. In 1990 it increased to 8.1 million and in 2007 reached 11.3 million.

Prof Wiseman said the UN's forecast for 2030 can be undermined if more is done to prevent so-called lifestyle cancers.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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