The recently released survey conducted by the Cancer Council Victoria reveals an interesting observation - majority of Victorians are clueless about the fact that failure to exercise can rise up their risk of developing cancer.

One-third of cancer-related mortalities that occur in Victoria every single year are preventable. People, however are in the dark about the risk factors that lead to cancer.

People assumed that their risk of getting cancer comes down to factors such as a family history of cancer or even fate, said Craig Sinclair, director of the Cancer Prevention Centre.

The real fact is faulty genes contribute to less than one in ten cancers, said Mr Sinclair.

Although most people are wise enough about quitting smoking, and wearing sunscreen, it helps to learn that cancer risks can be cut down by reducing alcohol intake, going for screening tests, keeping a healthy body through exercise, and making sure their body weight is kept under control through a healthy diet, advised Mr Sinclair.

The telephone survey of 3,000 Victorian adults shockingly discovered that only 19 per cent of Victorians found that a healthy lifestyle is protective against cancer.

Only 49 per cent of the participants thought that failure to exercise was a risk factor to cancer.

About a total of 55 per cent said that being overweight can trigger cancer development.

Only 4 per cent of the subjects offered weight control as the answer, when they were asked to provide measures to cut down cancer risk.

The waistline size of over 100cm for men and 85cm for women increase the risk of specific types of cancer such as breast cancer, bowel cancer and oesophagus cancer, said Mr Sinclair.

An appalling 94 per cent of Victorians failed to state that cutting down on alcohol consumption as a measure to reduce cancer risk, when there was a total of 1,300 cancer deaths related to alcohol back in 2005.