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  • Principal Investigator: Juliet Usher-Smith
  • 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018
  • Project No: 342
  • Funding round: FR 13

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the UK and the number of people getting cancer is increasing every year. Research has shown that lifestyle choices, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, physical activity and weight, play a part in four out of every ten cases of cancer and nearly 600,000 cancer cases could have been prevented in the past five years if people had healthier lifestyles. However, research has also shown that many people are unaware of this. Many do not know how likely they are to develop cancer or that changing their lifestyle could affect whether they develop cancer or not.

Supporting people to change their behaviour requires population-wide approaches, such as preventing smoking in public places, as well as approaches that focus on individual people and those at increased risk who may benefit from more intensive support. One approach that focuses on individual people is to share information about their risk of cancer and what they can do to reduce that risk. To do that we need to be able to calculate their risk of cancer. A few tools have been developed to enable us to do that but most include complex risk factors or few lifestyle choices.

The aim of this research is to develop simple risk calculators that include lifestyle choices for the five most common cancers for men and women. We will do this using data from a group of over 30,000 people who have been closely followed since 1993 as part of the EPIC-Norfolk study. We will first develop risk models for each of the cancers individually and for combined cancer models in men and in women. We will then test how well those models are able to calculate a person’s risk of developing the cancers in the future. 

Amount awarded: £8,336

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.

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