Ben Cross’s lifestyle choice could have caused his cancer
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“I am utterly heartbroken to share with you that my darling father died,” Lauren Cross posted to social media. “He had been sick for a while, but there was a rapid decline over the past week.” Ben had died from cancer, a disease that one in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with during their lifetime. Cancer Research UK said up to 40 percent of cancer cases are preventable, while 60 percent are not.
The most preventable cancers include:
- Lung cancer
- Bowel cancer
- Melanoma skin cancer
- Breast cancer.
The charity says “smoking is the largest cause of cancer in the UK”; the second largest risk factor is being overweight.
While Ben was a slender man, he confessed he was a smoker during his lifetime.
Remembered by fans as portraying Harold Abrahams in the 1981 film Chariots Of Fire, he feared being typecast following its success.
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An Oscar-winning motion picture, Chariots Of Fire centred on a Jewish athlete who is determined to win gold at the 1924 Paris Olympics and to battle antisemitism.
“I am a smoker, and until people stop identifying me with Chariots Of Fire, I will continue to smoke,” he once famously said.
Born as Harry Bernard Cross on December 16, 1947, Ben was born into a working-class family who hadn’t stepped foot into the limelight.
Quitting school at 15, according to the New York Times, Ben worked as a window cleaner and a butcher’s boy, before landing work at a theatre.
Watching from the wings, he took the bold move to audition for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art – and was accepted.
Ben’s most famous works include Star Trek (2009), First Knight (1995), and When Nietzsche Wept (2007).
He had two divorces, from Penny Butler and Michele Mörth, and was married to Deyana Boneva when he passed away in a hospital in Vienna, aged 72.
How to reduce your risk of cancer
Cancer Research UK says two of the most helpful ways to reduce your risk of cancer are to be a non-smoker and to maintain a healthy weight.
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An additional way to minimise cancer risk is to have a healthy food diet full of fruits and vegetables.
The charity also advises drinking “no alcohol”, which is carcinogenic, meaning it damages DNA cells.
Frequent exercise is also key to reducing cancer risk, as well as staying safe in the sun by wearing sunscreen every day.
The most common cancers in the UK includes:
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Bowel cancer.
The NHS says: “There are more than 200 different types of cancer, and each is diagnosed and treated in a particular way.”
Symptoms of cancer can include:
- A lump that suddenly appears on your body
- Unexplained bleeding
- Changes to your bowel habits.
Watch Ben Cross in Chariots Of Fire, which is showcasing on Sunday, February 26 on BBC Two at 5pm.
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