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Over 55s lack awareness on cancer

21st September 2009

A YouGov survey of 2,000 people in the UK has found that people older than 55 are less likely than younger people to know how to lessen their danger of cancer.

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Over-55s were found to have less knowledge about how obesity, bad diet and the consumption of alcohol raised the danger of developing cancer.

Cancer Research UK said the results were a cause for concern because cancer mainly affects people as they get older.

The study found the 56% of older people knew that a bad diet increased the danger of cancer, in comparison to 60% of younger people.

59% of the younger group were aware that weighing too much raised the risk of the disease, in comparison to 54% of the older age group.

Fewer members of the over-55s knew that limiting alcohol consumption and taking more exercise were ways of reducing their cancer risk.

The survey was commissioned by the World Cancer Research Fund. Lisa Cooney, WCRF head of education, said: "The scientific evidence that we can reduce our cancer risk by making healthy lifestyle choices is overwhelming, so it is a real concern that so many older people are not aware of this."

"This is because if people do not know what increases and reduces risk then they are not in a position to make informed choices about their lifestyle," she added.

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