(Image: Photographer’s Choice)
Experts have revealed the eight factors responsible for almost 40 per cent of cancer deaths.
Unsurprisingly smoking, drinking alcohol and eating an unhealthy diet are at the top of the list.
Smoking alone is responsible for one in five deaths related to cancer across the world – causing a whopping 20.3 per cent.
Unhealthy eating and obesity were the second biggest combined factor, with 10 per cent of all deaths from cancer blamed on a bad diet.
Infections are the reason another five per cent of people die, with UV radiation responsible for 3.2 per cent.
Not exercising was blamed for 0.8 per cent of deaths with hormones racking up 0.4 per cent.
Smoking is the biggest factor in cancer deaths (Image: EyeEm)
Australian researchers at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute said the total amount is greater than 38 per cent because many deaths involved two factors.
“While in many cases cancer is tragically unavoidable, this study highlights what we’ve known for years: cancer isn’t always a matter of genetics or bad luck,” lead researcher Dr David Whiteman told Science Alert.
“There is a lot people can do to reduce their risk of developing and dying from cancer.
“Even small improvements in these areas would substantially reduce the number of people who die prematurely from cancer each year.”
Quitting smoking, eating healthier and drinking less would help stop the disease, which claims 8.2 million lives worldwide each year.
UV exposure is killing thousands across the world (Image: Moment RF)
Figures showed 44,000 Australians died from cancer in 2013 – of which they say 38 per cent were deemed preventable.
The new findings back up research earlier this year, which revealed many cancer cases can be blamed on DNA errors, according to the Daily Mail .
The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center study contradicted the widespread belief that the disease is usually inherited or triggered by an unhealthy lifestyle.
Cancers triggered by copying errors could occur ‘no matter how perfect the environment’, the researchers warned in March.
The findings explained why cancer can often strike people who follow all of the rules of healthy living and have no family history of the disease.
Tobacco and alcohol have long been at the centre of strict regulation due to their substantial links to cancer and heart disease.
And an emerging body of evidence has shown poor diets, not exercising enough and obesity are fueling rates of cancer.
Obesity and bad eating habits are both responsible for 10 per cent of deaths (Image: Taxi)
The eight factors
Poor diet 5%
UV radiation 3.2%
Not exercising 0.8%