Almost a quarter of cancer cases could be avoided by making changes to lifestyles.
This is according to recent research conducted by scientists in Denmark who suggested that following health living advice could reduce the incidence of bowel cancer by 23 per cent.
The report, which was published in the British Medical Journal, looked at over 55,000 men and women aged between 50 and 64.
Their lifestyles were assessed based around levels of physical activity, waist circumference, smoking, alcohol and diet.
A total of 678 volunteers were diagnosed with bowel cancer over a ten-year period, a figure the scientists worked out could be 23 per cent lower if people had followed health advice in all five lifestyle factors.
The researchers concluded: "Our study reveals the useful public health message that even modest differences in lifestyle might have a substantial impact on colorectal cancer risk and emphasises the importance of continuing vigorous efforts to convince people to follow the lifestyle recommendations."