A recent UK research has found that close to one out of three British believe that there is nothing one can do to avoid cancer as it is down to fate.
Cancer Research UK stated that one in five men and women feared cancer ahead of debt, knife crime, Alzheimer's disease and losing their job whereas 34 per cent believed the disease was down to fate, rising to 41 per cent of those aged 55 to 64.
The findings come in the midst of growing evidence suggesting lifestyle factors such as losing weight, taking exercise, reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking can significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer.
The survey questioned more than 2,000 adults aged 16 and over. Those questioned were asked to choose what they feared most from a list including developing Alzheimer's, being in debt, old age, being the victim of knife crime, cancer, being in a plane crash, motor neurone disease, being in a car accident, having a heart attack, losing your job and losing your home.
More people (20 per cent) overall chose cancer than anything else, followed by 16 per cent who feared Alzheimer's disease the most.
Among adults up to the age of 44, cancer was feared most by 25 per cent while 7.5 per cent feared Alzheimer's most.
For those aged over 65, Alzheimer's was feared most by 30 per cent while 14 per cent feared cancer most. John Fyall, Cancer Research UK's spokesman for Scotland, said:
"It's absolutely vital for us to get the message out that people can do something to alleviate their emphatic fear of cancer. Cancer is no longer the death sentence people still seem to dread," the Scotsman quoted, John Fyall, Cancer Research UK's spokesman for Scotland, as saying.
"Spotting early signs and symptoms of what could be cancer - but probably isn't - and getting these checked out by a doctor means that the disease can be diagnosed more quickly," he added.
Teresa Nightingale, general manager of the World Cancer Research Fund, said, "It is a concern that so many people think cancer is a matter of fate, because there is now strong scientific evidence that people can make relatively simple changes to reduce their risk."
"Scientists estimate about a third of the most common cancers in the UK could be prevented just by eating a healthy, plant-based diet, being regularly physically active and maintaining a healthy weight. This includes about 40 per cent of breast and bowel cancer cases," she added.
Nightingale further informed that, "The strong evidence that diet, activity and weight affect our risk, together with other well-known risk factors such as smoking and sunburn, means that cancer is actually a largely preventable disease."