NHS Choices recently summarised and analysed the findings of a UK study into cancer risk. It reports that for many people several factors are involved. Moreover, one’s personal risk also depends on genetics, family history and aging. According to the study in 2010, around 43% of UK cancer cases were blamed on lifestyle and environmental factors, equating to about 134,000 cancers. The research showed the following percentages for 34% of cancers in 2010 for which four key lifestyle factors were invoked:
Being overweight or obese: 5.5%
Smoking was commonly associated with lung, mouth, throat, trachea and oesophagal cancers.
Other risk factors included: occupation (3.7%), UV radiation (sun or sunbed) (3.5%), infection (3.1%), excess intake of red and processed meat (2.7%), lack of physical exercise (1%), breastfeeding for less than six months (0.5%), use of post-menopausal hormones (0.5%). Smoking was the single biggest risk factor for both men and women.
After smoking, the three biggest risk factors were: lack of fruit and vegetables (6.1%), occupation (4.9%)
and alcohol (4.6%). For women they were: overweight/obesity (6.9% link to breast cancer), infection (3.7%), UV radiation (3.6%), alcohol (3.3%), lack of fruit and vegetables (3.4%).
Original write-up from NHS Choices here.