Our 25th anniversary

When we were founded back in 1990, World Cancer Research Fund was the only cancer charity highlighting the links between diet, weight, physical activity and cancer.

At the time the links were hotly debated but other cancer charities were reluctant to progress the discussion.

We started speaking to scientists and health professionals about developing the research in this area and in 1997 we produced our first Expert Report to set out the links between diet and cancer risk. 

This was followed 10 years later by our second Expert Report, which analysed all the available global evidence on nutrition, physical activity and cancer, and translated the findings into the Cancer Prevention Recommendations that are the basis of our message today.

One in three

Thanks to your support and our work, cancer prevention through lifestyle is now accepted worldwide as scientific fact and is widely discussed by cancer charities.

A third of common cancers can be prevented through healthy diets, weight management and physical activity. That’s around 80,000 cases of cancer prevented in the UK every year.

We have been at the forefront of this emerging science and have helped tens of thousands of people to make small changes to their lives to help reduce their risk of developing cancer.

What next?

But there is still a great deal to be done. Our challenge for the future is to work out how we can stay healthy in the modern world – where 67% of UK adults are overweight or obese and children are finding it increasing hard to grow up healthily.

Imagine if in 25 years time we were living in a world where no one developed a preventable cancer; what would that mean? Less pressure on health services, people living healthier, longer lives and families staying together for longer.

We need to continue to fund innovative scientific research so we can learn more about cancer prevention. We need to continue to translate the research into practical advice to help people reduce their cancer risk. With your help we can continue to reduce the burden of cancer in the UK and around the world. 

Together we can prevent cancer.