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Cause and Effect

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The Guardian's Datablog features a new report from Cancer Research UK detailing the various causes of cancer, and showing that many of these causes are lifestyle-driven and can be changed. Of all cancers reported in the UK each year, more than 100,000 are caused by lifestyle factors like smoking, diet, alcohol, and obesity, Cancer Research UK found.

Given these factors, about 40 percent of cancers in women and about 45 percent of cancers in men could be prevented by not smoking, drinking less, and eating a healthy diet, says the Guardian's Sarah Boseley. "Cancer Research UK … says that around 134,000 people could be spared a cancer diagnosis if they took more care of themselves," she adds. Smoking, the report found, causes 23 percent of cancers in men and 15.6 percent of cancers in women. Increased weight was found to be a greater risk factor for breast cancer in women than drinking alcohol, Boseley says, and obesity in general was a cause of 5.5 percent of cancers overall in the UK. Other risk factors included HPV infections, exposure to carcinogens like asbestos, and using hormone replacement therapy.

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