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High-fat diets and obesity are important risk factors for receiving a positive breast cancer test, but large sections of the public may be unaware of this, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Oncology.
A team of researchers from the University of Leicester surveyed 279 cancer patients to find out what they knew about how lifestyle factors impacted their risk of developing cancer. The results showed that the majority of individuals did not know that obesity, an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity can contribute to cancer risk.
To make matters worse, many participants had misconceptions about things that predispose a person to cancer. For example, roughly one quarter of individuals said they believed surgery or a physical injury could cause cancer. The team said this belief comes from 50-year-old research that has since been proven inaccurate.
"It is clear that there is a continual need for education into the causes of cancer," said Paul Symonds, who led the research. "This shows that some messages are getting through, but we clearly have more work to do in educating the public on the effect of diet and obesity."
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