Those with some knowledge of cancer prevention are often aware that smoking increases the chance of developing lung cancer but, beyond that, they are often in the dark.

Yet other aspects of our lifestyles are hugely important - we estimate that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through improved diet, increased physical activity and being a healthy weight.

A recent survey[1] we commissioned showed that more needs to be to be done to help people understand how they can reduce their cancer risk.

It found, for example, that 41% of British adults are not aware that being overweight increases cancer risk.  

It also found that over half of people are not aware that physical inactivity can increase the risk of cancer and around two fifths are not aware of the cancer risk linked to alcohol or a poor diet.

We hope that the exposure given to World Cancer Day will help increase awareness and empower people to make healthier lifestyle choices.

As well as summing up the evidence from our ongoing research into our 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations, this year we also launched our I CAN… campaign – those who sign up receive, via email, simple tips on how to make healthy lifestyle changes. 

We hope this World Cancer Day people will say ‘I CAN… prevent cancer’ and make small changes to their lives that could make a huge difference in the fight against the disease.


[1] 1 YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2082 adults. Undertaken between 20th and 23 November 2015. The survey was carried out online. Figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). Available from World Cancer Research Fund