A Healthy lifestyle could prevent cancer among many white people in the United States, says a study published in JAMA Oncology. Avoiding smoking and heavy drinking, maintaining a moderate weight, and participating in regular exercise can all reduce the risk.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., with 1.6 million new cancer cases and 0.6 million cancer deaths expected to occur in 2016.

Recent research has suggested that random mutations during stem cell divisions could be a major factor leading to cancer development.

Some have interpreted these findings to mean that only a third of the variation in cancer risk in tissues is due to environmental or genetic factors, and most is due to “bad luck.”

However, many studies have produced strong evidence that lifestyle factors play a role.

Dr. Mingyang Song and colleagues, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA, have been looking at how a “healthy lifestyle pattern” impacts cancer incidence and death.

They studied data for 89,571 women and 46,399 men.

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