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The effect of lifestyle factors on gynaecological cancer.Several lifestyle factors affect a woman's risk of gynaecological cancer and-potentially-can be modified to reduce risk. This chapter summarises the evidence for the effect of lifestyle factors on the incidence of gynaecological malignancy. The incidence of obesity is increasing in the developed world such that it now contributes as much as smoking to overall cancer deaths. Women with a body mass index (BMI)>40 have a 60% higher risk of dying from all cancers than women of normal weight. They are also at increased risk from gynaecological cancer. Dietary factors significantly influence the risk of gynaecological cancer: fruit, vegetables and antioxidants reduce risk whereas high animal fat and energy intakes increase risk. Alcohol intake adversely affects breast cancer risk, possibly accounting for 4% of all breast cancers. Physical activity protects against ovarian, endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancer, independently of BMI. The oral contraceptive pill has a substantial and long-lasting effect on the prevention of ovarian and endometrial cancer and is one of the best examples of large-scale chemoprevention in the developed world. Childbearing is protective against ovarian, endometrial and breast cancer but increases the risk of cervical cancer. Smoking acts as a cofactor in cervical carcinogenesis and increases the risk of ovarian cancer, particularly mucinous tumours.