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Public clueless over cancer defense

Less than 50% of people in the UK know that taking exercise cuts the risk of developing cancer, a survey has shown.

According to recent studies, regular exercise cuts the chance of developing bowel cancer and is thought to reduce the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer and womb cancer.

Only 43% of people knew that exercise protected against the disease, the survey for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) found.

Younger people are more aware that exercise cuts the risk of cancer than older people, with 52% of 18 to 24-year-olds aware of the link compared with 38% of those over 55.

Lucie Galice, general manager of the WCRF, said: "Scientists have shown that being physically active is something positive people can do to reduce their cancer risk.

"It is a cause for concern that over half of people are unaware that physical activity can play an important role in cancer prevention.

"This is why we need to do more to get the message across to the public that about a third of cancers could be prevented just through physical activity, a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight."

The charity recommends people take half an hour of exercise a day, building up to an hour as fitness levels improve.

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