Diet, alcohol linked to nearly one third of cancers

May 19, 2004 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Diet, alcohol linked to nearly one third of cancers

Diet is second only to tobacco as a leading cause of cancer and, along with alcohol, is responsible for nearly one third of cases of the disease in developed countries say researchers from Oxford University in England.

While tobacco is linked to about 30 percent of cancer cases, diet is involved in an estimated 25 percent and alcohol in about six percent.

Obesity raises the risk of breast, womb, bowel and kidney cancer, while alcohol is known to cause cancers of the mouth, throat and liver. Its dangerous impact is increased when combined with smoking.

Early results of the study have revealed that Norway, Sweden and Denmark have the lowest consumption of fruit and vegetables among European countries while Italy and Spain have the highest. Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is recommended to reduce the risk of cancer.

So far the researchers have shown that obesity is linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer, while processed and red meat also probably raise the chances of developing the disease, and eating lots of fruit and vegetables decreases the odds. They added that obesity and alcohol could also raise the risk of breast cancer.

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