The relationship between obesity and cancer has been well described…and well ignored! Exposure to excess body fat will contribute to increased risk of some of the most common cancers including bowel and breast. Yet, few agencies working in the cancer settings (including the NHS) bring this to the attention of the millions of people who are in contact with healthcare every day. Many think it is a duty of care for people to be given advice on how to “stack the odds” against cancer occurrence (and recurrence) and that we deny people the opportunity to be supported to reduce cancer risk.
As part of Bowel Cancer Awareness month, we’re running a series of mini-blogs from cancer experts. Here’s the next instalment from Professor Annie S. Anderson.
I would like the public to know that getting bowel cancer is not about bad luck and fate.
There is strong evidence that people can reduce their risk of cancer, by adopting healthy dietary and activity behaviours. Current estimates suggest that around one third of cancers could be prevented by adhering to current guidance. A recent European study1 reported that people who adhered best to WCRF guidance (that is, had the full dose of what is recommended) had a 34% lower hazard of death than those who followed only a small dose (one or two recommendations).