Almost 80,000 people a year could avoid the need for cancer treatment by adopting a healthy lifestyle, experts have claimed.
According to scientists at the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), as many as 78,700 cases of the most common types of cancer could be prevented by eating healthily, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.
This includes 19,100 cases of breast cancer and 16,100 instances of bowel cancer.
Professor Martin Wiseman, the WCRF's medical and scientific adviser, claimed that the estimates show "what could be achieved through making relatively simple lifestyle changes".
"Many people still think of cancer as a question of fate, but this emphasises that people can significantly reduce their risk by eating healthily, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight," the expert pointed out.
A recent YouGov survey, commissioned by the WCRF, found that only 38 per cent of over-55s were aware that being physically inactive increases a person's risk of developing cancer, compared with 45 per cent of the overall population.