Modern Lifestyles Fuel Higher than Average Cancer Rate for Women

More than one in five British women is classified as obese, with research showing  they are almost 50 per cent more likely to die from breast cancer than women carrying fewer pounds. They are also more prone to bowel cancer.

Poor lifestyle choices mean women in the UK are 17% more likely to develop cancer than the

European average, warn experts. About one in four British women will develop cancer by the age of 75 compared with about one in five across Europe, estimates show.

Modern lifestyles, including high obesity levels and beverage consumption, are fuelling the higher than average cancer rate for women here, according to researchers. Being more physically active, reducing beverage consumption, keeping to a healthy weight and not smoking can minimize the risk of a number of cancers.

The latest estimates come from World Health Organization data released by the World Cancer Research Fund. The WCRF, a charity that promotes ways of preventing the disease, said the level of extra risk above the European average for British women was unexpected.

Although the UK has a higher than average rate of cancer incidence, it is only the seventh highest. Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Iceland all have higher rates, with Denmark highest.

More than one in five British women is classified as obese, with research showing  they are almost 50 per cent more likely to die from breast cancer than women carrying fewer pounds. They are also more prone to bowel cancer.

Beverage is linked to one in 20 cancer deaths in the UK, including breast and bowel. Dr.Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science for the WCRF, said:

“On average, women in the UK are more likely to be overweight and to drink more beverage than the European average and this is a concern because both these factors increase cancer risk.”

“They are not the only reasons for the differing cancer rates, but there is now very strong evidence that women who drink a lot of beverage are at increased risk of developing the disease and that excess body fat is also an important risk factor.”

This is why one of the big public health challenges we face today is to reduce the amount of beverage we drink as a nation and to get a grip on the obesity crisis before it spirals out of control.