Cancer cells
Modern lifestyles are causing 90 per cent of cancers, according to new research.

Poor diet, a lack of exercise, stress and pollution are cited as the main contributory factors for the majority of cancers of the lung, breast and prostate.

Researchers at Stony Brook University in New York looked at the genetic "fingerprints" of several cancers to try to work out how much of the risk was associated with environmental factors, The Times reported.

And in a paper published in the science Journal Nature they estimated that up to 90 per cent of the most common cancers were caused by external factors rather than cellular mistakes in the body.

Among the external factors are pollution, ultraviolet radiation and stress and then factors within people's own control such as diet and exercise.

The results point to a healthier lifestyle as a key component to reduce your risk of cancer.

Taking regular exercise and eating well could all be used as preventative measures in the fight against cancer.

Cancers occur when defective DNA in a cell makes it grow at a rapid rate. This can be caused by stresses on the cell or copying errors within the cell.