Exercise and a healthy diet could help prevent cancer, research has shown.

Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

Data from the World Cancer Research Fund suggests that about a third of cancer cases in the UK could be prevented with small lifestyle changes. Of the 351,000 new cases of cancer in the UK in 2013, the WCRF reports that 84,000 could have been prevented.

Dr Rachel Thompson, head of research, told the BBC that simple changes to diet and lifestyle could make "a huge difference" in the fight against the disease.

"Even minor adjustments, like 10 to 15 extra minutes of physical activity each day, cutting down on alcohol, or limiting your intake of high calorie foods and sugary drinks, will help decrease your cancer risk," she said.

Dr Thompson also said that the most important factor in reducing your risk of cancer, aside from cutting out smoking, is maintaining a healthy body weight, since being "overweight or obese increases the risk of 10 cancers".

A healthy diet, regular exercise and lower alcohol intake will all aid in preventing a variety of different cancers, including prostate, breast, kidney and pancreatic cancer.

Prof Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at Public Health England, told the BBC that although the link between a healthy lifestyle and the risk of developing cancer is well known among doctors, cancer prevention was not a major factor in the public consciousness of the UK.

"The link between tobacco and cancer is widely known and readily accepted by the public, but many are not yet fully convinced that healthy eating, regular exercise and not drinking alcohol, can lower your cancer risk," he said

Prof Fenton added that the UK was currently behind on cancer survival rates compared with other European countries.