World Cancer Day
4 February 2015
The Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan and Chancellor Sir Martin Evans have joined calls for people to adopt healthier lifestyles to officially mark World Cancer Day (Wednesday February 4th).
The Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor joined colleagues from the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, in a bid to help encourage people to start their day in a healthier way.
"Considering recent evidence, it is estimated that about 32% of all cancer may be avoidable by changes in diet, particularly in bowel cancer," according to Dr Lee Parry, a bowel cancer expert based in the Research Institute.
"Whereas earlier thinking about nutrition and cancer emphasised the adverse effects of fat and other components in the diet, the most compelling evidence of the last decade has indicated the importance of protective factors, largely unidentified, in fruits and vegetables.
"Further, the importance of the interaction between the diet and gut bacteria has also been identified, as typical "western diets" can lead to inflammation that predisposes to bowel cancer," he added.
Dr Parry's advice was to think about diet, and make small changes for the better.
"At the end of the day, I would advocate everything in moderation. So, swapping the cooked breakfast for a healthier alternative more often will help to reduce the risk of developing some forms of cancer.
"I wouldn't deny myself a bacon buttie every now and again, but balance it with nutritious foods such as muesli and fruit and you'll notice a great difference in yourself."
World Cancer Day's message was that cancer is "Not Beyond Us", with four themes being highlighted during the campaign.
They include: choosing a healthier lifestyle; delivering early detection; achieving early detection; achieving treatment for all and, maximising quality of life.