Lifestyle and cancer

Here in Wales Tenovus is working hard to help highlight some of the lifestyle choices people are making, lifestyle choices which can give you cancer.

We know cancer is preventable. We know a third of it is caused by ciggies. But the rest? Well more and more of it looks like the environment, not factories and nuclear power stations, but rubbish food and no exercise.

Concentrate on being lean and fit. The big threat is obesity which goes hand in hand with taking no exercise. Is “Couch Potato” to be found in the Welsh language? Would Bevan recognise one if he saw it? Well you don’t need to look far in Wales. After smoking, this is one of the biggest concerns. We’re the “fat, sick man of Europe” and we need to do something about it.

Exercise reduces the chance of getting certain cancers, even more than being fat. So attack the couch as well as the potato. It’s really confusing out there with all the messages- when to eat, how to eat, what to eat and drink. Is red wine good for you or does it cause breast cancer? (on balance it’s OK). Which vitamins stop cancer and cause cancer, Vitamin D, Vitamin C or Vitamin A? Is two litres of water a day essential (no, just common sense). Should we really have five portions of fruit and veg a day? (yes).

Food labelling is there anyone out there who understands it all? is it traffic lights? is it calories? is it fat content? Where is government in all this? How can we take on the food industry and beat them like we’re beating the tobacco barons.

At Tenovus we spend a lot of our time trying to prevent people getting cancer but we are reliant on so many other institutions, governments, health organisations and food and drink companies to help too – we can’t do it alone. Until we tackle this as one, we just need to use some common sense and take responsibility! Keep exercising, don’t be overweight. That’s it.

Good health.

Let me know what you think by contacting me on Twitter @claudia_mcvie

2 Replies

Hi Claudia,

Hope your well.

I did read this article in the Bevan Foundation piece you did, not sure if you saw it, but i've pasted a copy below:


Sort of agree with the majority of the comments. I would say though – not being a medical expert or scientist, that a lot of Cancers are completely out of the blue. Take childrens Cancers. Yes great progress has been made over the years, but perhaps most of that is not down to their ‘obese’ lives, its just something that is still to this date unexplained. My cancer for instance NHL DLBC, was that down to me being a little overweight? – well acording to the people i spoke to, probably not. What about the many, many thousands of very fit athletic people throughout the World who develop Cancer – they weren’t obese – Lance and Mr Hartson are 2 obvious examples. So, in brief summary, i think your spot on with many points in your article, but would advise caution on your overall comment about the ‘generality’ of the causes.

Peter Thomas

Cancer Survivor



Hi Claudia.

After my colorectal polyp cancer, I believe all cancer patients will look for the answer as to what caused it and I think it all depends on the type of cancer itself. I myself found all sorts of theories and to some degree answers that satisfied my questions. There is a bit too much to post here so check out this link on my my site that covers this is more detail.. myweb.tiscali.co.uk/theblac...

The important section is under MY BELIEFS there is a PDF for download from the world cancer organisation (global perspective) within this PDF there is fantastic chart that lists all the cancers and all the factors that can influence the cancer.

A more recent site I came across was drday.com/index.html Dr. Lorraine Day reversed her severe, advanced cancer by rebuilding her immune system by natural therapies, so her body could heal itself. This is a controversial USA website selling alternative medicine advice on DVD's etc. This advice is not restricted to just cancer but other medical conditions as well. This may not be for everyone but thought it may be worth a mention even though I do not believe you should have to pay for information.Obviously she is trying to maximise her income which ever way she can.

Hope this helps but I would be mighty interested in any other findings you or anyone else can uncover. Especially on vitamins that can cause cancer.

Regards imadie