Every year 81,000 cancer cases could be prevented if everyone in the UK were a healthy weight, ate a healthy diet, and were regularly physically active, World Cancer Research Fund estimates.
That’s 81,000 people who could potentially be saved from hearing a doctor say those dreaded words: ‘You’ve got cancer’. That’s 81,000 people, and their families, who could be spared the misery that cancer inflicts.
Cancer is a global epidemic, a problem that the World Health Organization warns we will not be able to treat our way out of. There are currently two million people living in the UK who have survived a cancer diagnosis – that’s almost equivalent to the population of Greater Manchester with recent estimates predicting the figure could go even higher, to 2.5 million people. It is essential that prevention be at the heart of our government’s approach to stemming the tide of preventable cancers.
This is why we support Cancer: 2 Million Reasons, a campaign urging UK political parties to take a stand on cancer and to understand that there are two million reasons for the next government to make cancer a priority.
In January the campaign focuses on cancer prevention. Each week we will be releasing statistics about how many cancer cases could be prevented, and introducing some of our supporters who are helping us work towards a world free from preventable cancer.
About a third (32 per cent) of the most common cancers could be prevented in the UK if everyone followed our cancer preventionrecommendations. By following these simple tips, we could help reduce the risk of cancer.
Our cancer prevention work is supported by one of our fundraisers, and breast cancer survivor, Ros Oxley. The mother-of-three was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2013. Within a year Ros had undergone months of treatment and had the strength to complete a 3km fun run to raise money for World Cancer Research Fund.
The senior manager, who completed her charity challenge without wearing her wig for the first time in front of her colleagues, said that knowing that she could help vital research into cancer prevention spurred her on.
Ros says: “I know how stressful and painful this disease can be, and I want to help as many people as possible reduce their risk of developing it if they can.
“People need to protect themselves and I want to make sure that I can help people realise that there are things that they can do to minimise their chances of developing cancer.”
It is time we all took action to help protect ourselves and prevent the misery cancer causes.
Together we can help reduce the number of people who develop preventable cancer, and help people live happier, healthier, cancer-free futures.