Stopping Cancer At Source in the UK
CancerWatch is an advocacy and not-for-profit organisation campaigning to reduce the number of preventable cancer deaths each year by increasing awareness, improving regulation and encouraging more creative thought to reduce the incidence of cancer in the UK.
We have a number of
campaigns related to preventable cancers. Do read our blog for up-to-the-minute information or write to us to get in touch. Tackling the problems
Smoking is considered to be the most preventable cause of cancer. And yet about 19% of the British population still smoke, and about 35,000 people a year die from lung cancer each year.
British people are the fattest in Europe, with about 58% of UK women and 65% of men are overweight or obese. Obesity is a major cause of cancer, responsible for some 13 different types.
Alcohol is an important risk factor in many cancers, including breast, bowel and oesophageal cancer. Consumption of alcohol has risen steadily in the post war years, doubling between the 1950s and the 1990s.
The main preventables
There are about 46,000 cases of lung cancer a year in the UK with about 36,000 deaths. Survival rates over 10 years are about 5%. As smoking is the main risk factor, it is about 90% preventable. Lung cancer accounts for about 20% of all cancer cases in the UK.
There are about 55,000 breast cancer cases a year and about 11,500 deaths. Survival rates over 10 years are about 78%. The disease is considered to be about 30% preventable, with obesity, alcohol, HRT and lack of exercise being the main preventable risk factors.
There are about 42,000 cases of bowel cancer (also known as colorectal cancer) a year in the UK, with about 16,000 deaths. Survival rates over 10 years are about 57%. It is considered to be 55% preventable with the keys to preventing the disease being high fibre diets, low red meat consumption, physical exercise and reducing both smoking and alcohol.
Overall it is thought that about 40% of cancers in the UK are preventable. Reducing smoking in particular would help prevent several cancers including cancer of the lung, kidneys, oesophagus, and uterus. There are also other preventable causes of cancer such as excessive sunlight which causes skin cancer, and viruses that cause cervical cancer.