Smoking, drinking tied to increased cancer

August 9, 2007

A new report attributes Britain's rising cancer rate to lifestyle choices such as sunbathing, drinking, overeating and smoking.

The study by Cancer Research UK and UK Association of Cancer Registries said melanoma is the fastest-rising cancer in Britain, increasing more than 40 percent over the past decade. The rates of mouth, uterine and kidney cancer also are on the increase, Cancer Research UK said Wednesday in a news release.

Research suggests nearly half of all cancers could be prevented by lifestyle changes.

"We're very concerned that cases of malignant melanoma are spiraling," said Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of health information. "Most cases of this disease could be prevented if people protected themselves in the sun and took care not to burn.

Alcohol and tobacco use increases the risk of mouth and kidney cancer, while overweight and obese women are twice as likely to develop uterine cancer, the report said.

Researchers said the rate of cervical cancer has fallen due to a national screening program. They credited successful anti-smoking campaigns for a drop in lung cancer cases.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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