How do we know our cancer prevention recommendations work?

Researchers all over the world have tested our recommendations to see what impact they have on lowering your risk of cancer

We analyse the scientific evidence from around the world and translate the results into practical, easy-to-follow cancer prevention advice – our cancer prevention recommendations. They were created in 2007, and as well as giving people practical advice on how to lower their cancer risk, they can also guide government towards the policy changes that could be made to reduce population-wide cancer risk.

The advice consists of eight recommendations on healthy choices (weight; activity; wholegrains, veg, fruit and beans; fast foods; meat; sugary drinks; alcohol; supplements) plus two recommendations specific to certain groups (breastfeeding mothers and people living with cancer).

We know that our recommendations, which were updated in 2018 as part of our expert report Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective, reduce the risk of cancer as they have been studied independently by external researchers to test how effective they are.

To date, we have identified 25 articles that use our recommendations to test how effective they are at reducing cancer risk. Overall, these articles show that following our cancer prevention recommendations results in a lower risk of developing cancer.