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Home Cancer prevention Recommendations Cancer prevention for survivors

Cancer prevention for cancer survivors

After treatment, cancer survivors should follow WCRF UK's Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.

Cancer survivors are people who are living with a diagnosis of cancer, including those who have recovered from the disease.

Anyone who has received a diagnosis of cancer should receive specialist nutritional advice from an appropriately trained health professional.

If you are a cancer survivor and you want to reduce the risk of your cancer returning, or a new diagnosis of cancer or other chronic disease, the best advice is to follow our Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.

However, if you are currently undergoing treatment for cancer you're likely to have special nutritional requirements. In these cases, it's best to ask an appropriately trained health professional (such as a doctor or dietitian) for advice. This is also true if you are a cancer survivor whose treatments have affected your ability to eat or digest some foods - for example, patients who have undergone a gastrectomy or a colostomy.

Cancer fact

There is not yet enough evidence to make any specific recommendations for cancer survivors.

Cancer survivors – the evidence

There is growing evidence that physical activity and other lifestyle choices that help us to maintain a healthy weight, such as a balanced diet, may help to prevent cancer recurrence, particularly for breast cancer.

However, the evidence is not yet clear enough to be able to make any specific recommendations for cancer survivors as a whole, or for those who are survivors of any specific form of cancer.

So, in the absence of stronger evidence, we believe the best advice for cancer survivors is to follow our Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.

WCRF UK and future cancer survivors research

WCRF UK believes that because there is not enough evidence about how to prevent cancer recurring, cancer survivors do not have access to the same quality lifestyle advice as everyone else.

Because of this, we have identified cancer survivorship as a key research priority for the scientific work we fund. An example of this is that we are funding a study in Cambridge that is trying to find out how breast cancer patients can stop the disease recurring.

The next Continuous Update Project (CUP) Expert Panel review to be published will also focus on cancer survivors, specifically looking at the evidence relating tobreast cancer survivors.

We also try to encourage other organisations that fund cancer research to fund studies that can help us to give better advice to cancer survivors than currently available.

Read all our Recommendations for Cancer Prevention


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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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