Can cancer be prevented?

There are lots of steps you can take to make a cancer diagnosis less likely in the future

Cancer is a complex disease – no single factor is likely to be the cause, nor can a single piece of research give us all the answers.

However, it is clear from the thousands of studies that we have looked at that there are simple things you can do today to reduce your risk.

What you eat and drink, how much you weigh and how physically active you are can all make a difference.

How we know that cancer can be prevented

Our Cancer Prevention Recommendations are based on the evaluation of studies into cancer and lifestyle from around the world.

  • Epidemiological studies observe groups over a period of time, relating the groups’ specific characteristics to their cancer risk
  • Test subjects in laboratory studies have small changes made to them and the outcomes are compared
  • In controlled trials, specific changes are made to participants and the effects are studied

We analyse the scientific evidence from these studies and translate the results into practical, easy-to-follow cancer prevention advice.

It’s from these studies that we know there are decisions you can make right now which will help prevent cancer.

Our recommendations empower people to take action to lead happier, healthier, cancer-free lives.

“Many people believe that getting cancer is down to your genes, fate or just bad luck, but there are things you can do to reduce your cancer risk.

“There’s a lot of confusion these days about what’s healthy and what’s not. Our recommendations are based on the latest research so you know you can trust them.”

– Susannah Brown, World Cancer Research Fund scientist