Lifestyle weightAlmost 40 per cent of pancreatic cancers — one of the deadliest forms of cancer — could be avoided through maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking, according to Cancer Research UK.

Every year 8,800 people are diagnosed with the disease and survival rates remain very low, with only three per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer surviving their disease for five years or more after diagnosis.

Further reading: Half of people diagnosed with cancer will survive beyond 10 years

Cancer Research UK has made pancreatic cancer research a priority, and plans to more than double its annual spend of £6 million on research into the disease during the next five years. The charity is investing in fundamental biology investigating how the cancer spreads as well as trials looking at boosting the effectiveness of the standard chemotherapy treatments in pancreatic cancer patients.

While more research is needed to find better ways of diagnosing and treating the disease, there is evidence to suggest that some pancreatic cancers are linked to being overweight and to smoking — and almost four in 10 could be prevented by lifestyle changes to address this.