Easy lifestyle changes could prevent 3500 cancer cases

Lifestyle choices are behind four in 10 cancers

Cancer Research UK found overexposure to UV radiation caused about 13,600 cases of melanoma skin cancer a year - or 3.8% of all cancer cases.

It found Scotland has the highest preventable rates at 41.5 per cent, with Wales and Northern Ireland both around 38 per cent and England the lowest at 37.3 per cent.

Researchers say it could be preventable by making a few simple changes in your daily routine.

As a result, obesity is on course to overtake smoking as the main preventable cause of the deadly disease.

Researchers note that in many cases, incidences of cancer come down to a person's genetic profile and family history which determines their susceptibility to various cancers as they age.

Cancer Research UK found 15.1% of cancer cases are caused by smoking, around 54,000 instances every year.

Cancer Research UK identified that obesity was the second leading cause of preventable cancer, accounting for 6.3% of all cancer cases, an increase from 5.5% in 2011.

"We took data from national surveys showing how common each risk factor is in the population, and data from the United Kingdom cancer registries showing how many cases of each cancer type there are".

Cancer Research UK has also called for junk food advertising before the 9pm watershed to be banned.

The CRUK study has examined lesser known causes including a lack of fibre in your diet, not enough exercise, air pollution and processed meat. Most of these cases are linked to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and H. Pylori.

Margaret Carr from CRUK said: "These research findings are startling in that, for the first time, we can see how many cases of cancer could be prevented by things like not smoking and keeping a healthy weight". These figures show that we each can take positive steps to help reduce our individual risk of the disease.

Nearly four in ten of all cancers could be avoided by switching to a healthier diet, doing more exercise and giving up smoking, Cancer Research UK has said.

"Scotland is also the first part of the United Kingdom to have set a target to eliminate smoking from society by 2034".