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Home Cancer prevention Recommendations


About a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through eating
a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.

You can make a real difference to your cancer risk by following our 10
Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.

Click on each Recommendation for more details.

Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. Aim to be at the lower end of the healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range. Read more


tow people on cycles
Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
Most of us know that regular physical activity can help keep our hearts healthy – and the good news is that it can also reduce our risk of cancer. Read more


burger and chips
Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (foods high in fats and/or added sugars and/or low in fibre) and avoid sugary drinks.
Choosing healthy foods and drinks can help us avoid being overweight and reduce our risk of cancer. Read more
mixed fruit and veg
Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, and pulses such as beans.
Basing our diets on plant foods (like vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, and pulses such as beans), which contain fibre and other nutrients, can reduce our risk of cancer. Read more
red meats
Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
For cancer prevention, WCRF UK recommends limiting consumption of red meat (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoiding processed meats. Read more
tow people on cycles
If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
The evidence that all types of alcoholic drinks are a cause of a number of cancers is now stronger than ever before. Read more


Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
Consuming too much salt can be harmful to our health, increasing our risk of stomach cancer as well as high blood pressure. Read more


woman taking supplements
Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer.
To reduce your risk of cancer, choose a balanced diet with a variety of foods rather than taking supplements. Read more


Special Population Recommendations

Recommendations 9 and 10 don’t apply to everyone, but if they are relevant to you, it’s best to follow them.

It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods.
There is convincing evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer in mothers and probably helps prevent excess weight gain in their children. Read more
fruit and scales
After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.
There is some evidence that, particularly with breast cancer, cancer survivors can reduce their risk of it recurring by eating healthily and maintaining a healthy weight. Read more

And, always remember – do not smoke or chew tobacco.


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Page last reviewed: January 2013
Page next due for review: January 2015
The information on this page is based on the findings of our Expert Report and is covered by the Information Standard.

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