Modifiable risk factors for cancer

Br J Cancer. 2004 Jan 26;90(2):299-303. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6601509.


Over 6 million people around the world die from cancer each year. Modifiable risk factors have been linked to a wide range of malignancies, including cancers of the oropharynx, oesophagus, larynx, lung, kidney, bladder, pancreas, skin, stomach, ovary, breast, cervix, uterus, prostate, and colon. Research indicates that over half of all cancers in developed countries could be prevented if we implemented population-wide measures to promote the following behaviours: reduce tobacco use, increase physical activity, control weight, improve diet, limit alcohol, utilise safer sex practices, get routine cancer screening tests, and avoid excess sun exposure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Body Weight
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Risk Factors
  • Safe Sex
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Sunlight / adverse effects