People may snicker at the cliché that Vancouverites are yoga-loving health nuts, but according to statistics released yesterday, that truism is paying off in the form of low cancer rates.

British Columbia is leading Canada’s battle against cancer with the lowest death and incidence rates in the country because, in part, of our healthier lifestyle, according to Canadian Cancer Society spokesperson Kathryn Seely.

“In the West Coast, we tend to smoke less, exercise more and eat better.”

“Research now tells us that 50 per cent of cancer cases are preventable by avoiding risk factors like tobacco use, over-exposure to ultra-violet radiation, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating and obesity.”

The regions on the other end of the spectrum are Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, where people tend to smoke more, exercise less and eat fattier food.

Prostate, breast, lung and colorectal cancers continue to be the most prevalent cancers in men and women in B.C. and in Canada.

In 2010, these four cancers will account for 53.7 per cent of all cancers diagnosed in B.C. and 54.4 per cent of all cancers diagnosed in Canada.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women, and will make up 27 per cent of all cancer deaths in Canada.