Cancer survivors and cancer prevention

Reducing the risk of your cancer returning

If you are a cancer survivor, you will want to reduce the risk of your cancer returning, or having a new diagnosis of cancer. Although there is no strong evidence at the moment the best advice is to follow our general healthy living information.

However, if you have been recently diagnosed with cancer or are currently undergoing treatment for cancer you're likely to have special nutritional requirements. In these cases, it's best to ask your doctor or medical professional 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.

Who are cancer survivors?

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

There are currently around 2.5 million people in the UK who are living with cancer, or who have had treatment for cancer.

What does the evidence say about cancer survivors and cancer prevention?

There is growing evidence that eating a plant-based dietmaintaining a healthy weight and getting regular physical activity may help to prevent you from getting cancer again, and improve survival, particularly following breast cancer.

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

So, until further research is done, the best advice to reduce the risk of cancer returning is to follow our tips for leading a healthy lifestyle.

Our research on cancer survivors

More and more people in the UK are living with a diagnosis of cancer, and this is likely to increase as treatments for the disease improve.

Preventing a recurrence of the disease and improving general health in cancer survivors is a new focus of research and is a priority for the scientific work we fund.

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

With a regular donation you could make a real difference, helping us to fund this much-needed research and to support cancer survivors with advice on how they can reduce their risk of developing this disease again.