New figures show that over the last decade, the number of cases linked to unhealthy lifestyles have soared for some cancers.
There has been a notable increase in cases of oral, uterine and kidney cancers - all of which have been strongly linked to lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, poor diets - since 2002, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The number of cases of malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, increased by 66% between 2002 and 2011, the figures show.
An ONS spokesman said that the number of cases of skin cancer could have increased because of "choice in clothing and recreational sunbathing".
In 2002 there were around 6,700 cases of malignant melanoma diagnosed in England, but by 2011 this figure had soared to more than 11,100.
And there were 5,000 cases of kidney cancer in 2002 and just under a decade later there were more than 7,000 cases.
The ONS said that it is estimated that about 27% of cases of female breast cancer are linked to lifestyle and environmental factors - such as alcohol consumption, obesity, lack of physical activity, and hormonal and reproductive factors.
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In 2011, 41,523 English women were diagnosed with the disease and it is the most common cancer in women.
Nick Ormiston-Smith, statistical information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Every year, around 275,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in England. The biggest risk factor for the disease is simply getting older - this is because there's more time for the cells in our body to accumulate genetic damage that may result in cancer.
"Forty per cent of cancers can be attributed to lifestyle factors, so swapping some bad habits for healthier ones can help reduce the risk of developing the disease.
"Smoking increases the risk of at least 14 forms of cancer including lung, bowel, pancreatic and mouth. Cutting down on alcohol, keeping to a healthy weight, avoiding sunburn and being more active can also help reduce the risk of many cancers.
"Leading a healthy life doesn't guarantee you won't get cancer but it can stack the odds in your favour."
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Researchers from Britain and the Netherlands found that the more total dietary fiber and cereal fiber people consumed, the lower their colorectal cancer risk. For example, people who consumed an extra 90 grams of whole grains a day also had a 20 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer, according to the British Medical Journal review. However, that same study didn't show a link between eating fiber from fruits and vegetables and a lowered colorectal cancer risk, meaning there may be something else in whole grains at work, too.
Researchers from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that people who take aspirin once a day have a 30 percent decreased risk of dying from colorectal cancer, if taken for at least a nine-month period. And, the benefit extended to after a person had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The researchers found that people who had already been diagnosed and who took aspirin had a 23 percent decreased risk of dying from the disease, compared with people who didn't take it at all.
The Daily Mail reported on a study in mice, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, showing that rats exposed to a carcinogen developed fewer colon cancer lesions than rats if they consumed high-cocoa diets. "Being exposed to different poisons in the diet like toxins, mutagens and procarcinogens, the intestinal mucus is very susceptible to pathologies," study researcher Maria Angeles Martin Arribas, a researcher at the Institute of Food Science and Technology and Nutrition, said in a statement. "Foods like cocoa, which is rich in polyphenols, seems to play an important role in protecting against disease." However, it's important to note that this effect was tested only on mice.
Research published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research showed that taking 2 grams of ginger root supplement every day might have colon cancer-preventing powers. The researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School found that taking ginger root supplements helped to minimize signs of inflammation of the colon, which has been connected to colon cancer.
A study from the University of Texas Health Science Center showed that doctors who conduct colonoscopies while listening to Mozart are more likely to find polyps, which can lead to colon cancer, ABC News reported. The study showed that polyp-detection increased to 36.7 percent from 27.16 percent when the doctors listened to Mozart.
A study in the journal Cancer Causes & Control showed that people who exercise or play sports five or more times a week can lower their risk of developing colorectal cancer, compared with those who don't exercise regularly (or at all), Johns Hopkins University reported. Why exercise might reduce colon cancer risk isn't well understood. It may be because exercise enhances the immune system or because it reduces levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factors, all of which have been associated with colon cancer risk.
A number of studies have linked the consumption of cruciferous vegetables with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer, Oregon State University reported, though the effect may depend on a person's genetic risk. In particular, a study published in 2000 in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that people who ate the most cruciferous veggies in a day (about 58 grams per day, on average) had a lower risk of colon cancer compared with people who ate the fewest cruciferous veggies in a day (about 11 grams per day, on average), Oregon State University reported.
A study in mice showed that compounds called anthocyanins, found in black raspberries, seem to have powers at anti-colorectal cancer powers, MyHealthNewsDaily reported. The berries may help to prevent cancer because of their "high antioxidant activity," study researcher Gary Stoner, of the College of Medicine at Ohio State University, told MyHealthNewsDaily; those antioxidants work to fight against DNA-damaging free radicals in the body.
The Doctors and USA Weekend share tips for reducing your risk of colorectal cancer.