Kampala The risk of people developing breast and colon cancers can be significantly reduced if people exercise more and change their diet, the World Health Organisation has recommended in new guidelines. The guidelines released to coincide with the World Cancer Day on February 4 suggest that lifestyle changes could prevent some 30 per cent of cancers worldwide. Physical activity has a strong role to play in reducing the incidence of certain cancers, said Dr Ala Alwan, WHOs assistant director-general for non-communicable diseases and mental health. Cancer is fast becoming a big killer in Uganda, with the Cancer Institute seeing up to 10,000 patients a year, according to its director, Dr Jackson Orem. Health experts say a growing shift of lifestyle characterised by eating fatty food, high alcohol consumption, heavy smoking and little exercise have made many people prone to various kinds of cancers. The new WHO guidelines recommend that at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week for people aged 18 and above can reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases, including breast and colon cancers, diabetes and heart disease. For young people aged 5 to 17 years, at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity can protect their health and, in turn, reduce the risk of these diseases. Although many cancers found in Uganda are preventable or treatable when detected early enough, insufficient resources, shortage of cancer specialists and a lack of basic infrastructure mean that most people do not have access to cancer screening, early diagnosis treatment or palliative care-all of which have contributed to the gradual increase of cancer cases in the country. According to Dr Orem, cervical and breast cancers are the biggest killers among women while prostrate, liver, lung, Kaposis sarcoma (also common among HIV/Aids patients), penile, urinary bladder, and esophagus account for at least 80 per cent of all male cancers. The advent of HIV/Aids has also exacerbated cases of cancer in Uganda with over 60 per cent of cancer patients also found to be co-infected with HIV/Aids.