Harrogate-based, Yorkshire Cancer Research is urging people to consider how they can reduce their risk of cancer following the recent publication of a study that found overweight and obese people have a greater chance of developing the disease.
The research, published in the Lancet medical journal and funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council, discovered that a person’s Body Mass Index, a measure of body fat, is related to an increased risk of 10 most common cancers, including uterus, cervix, thyroid, kidney, liver and colon.
The researchers also warned that if current trends in overweight and obesity rates continue, it could lead to an extra 3,800 cases of these cancers every year. This could mean up to 500 preventable cases in Yorkshire.
Yorkshire Cancer Research recently launched a healthy living campaign as part of its new strategy to save more lives through prevention, early detection and targeted research on specific problems in Yorkshire, including easier access to clinical trials.
554 people are diagnosed with cancer every week in Yorkshire, and, according to Public Health England, premature mortality rates from cancer within the county are higher than the national average.
Yorkshire Cancer Research’s ‘Life Choices Life Changes’ campaign – developed in partnership with cafe and restaurant chain Filmore & Union, elite sports coaching company Fluid Training and specialist retailer Up & Running – aims to encourage people to think about the everyday decisions they make about their diet and achieve their own fitness goals.
The campaign is being led by charity CEO Charles Rowett, who has personally committed to changing his lifestyle in a bid to inspire others to do the same.
The 55 year old said: The findings which have hit the headlines today provide strong evidence of a link between obesity and cancer. We know that finding new treatments is an extremely important part of our fight against cancer, but we also believe that we should take more personal responsibility for helping ourselves to avoid the disease.
Our new campaign, which is still in its early stages, is about trying to raise awareness, encourage participation and help people make more informed decisions that may help them reduce the risk of cancer. We can have a significant influence on what happens within our own bodies, what we consume, how active we are and how we manage the stresses of work and busy personal lives.
To follow the campaign as it develops, follow the charity’s blog at www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk/blog