Jeff Angileri
Mar 11, 2009, 5:17 PM

Even in 2009, there's still no magic pill or vitamin to prevent most cancers. For years, nutrition experts have touted the benefits of healthy living. A new report may give credence to their claims.

If you eat right, watch your weight, and exercise regularly, you may do more than feel good. A new report finds you could prevent about a third of the most common cancers, including lung and breast cancer. Nutritionists aren't surprised by this finding.

We've got no fiber in our diet. We're eating a lot of sugar, we also don't exercise enough. And we just don't eat right overall, said Tammy Fumusa, dietitian at St. Mary's Hospital.

Researchers from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research analyzed the incidence of 12 common cancers across the world. They wanted to know if diet, exercise, and a healthy weight had any impact on reducing a person's risk for cancer. They found this kind of healthy living may prevent about 38 percent of breast cancer cases in the United States, about 36 percent of lung cancer cases, and 39 percent of pancreatic cancer cases. To be truly effective, experts say time is of the essence.

It has to start early, said Fumusa. Look at your parents. Do your parents have any genetic elements -- heart disease, cancer? Even if your parents don't have anything you don't know what's coming down the road.

Researchers estimate 11 million people worldwide are diagnosed with cancer each year and nearly 8 million die from the disease annually.