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HomeHealth articlescancer preventionHow Can We Prevent Cancer With Dietary Changes and Lifestyle Modification?

Prevention of Cancer - Facts and Suggestions

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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and positive behavior helps to fight or prevent cancer. Refer to this article to know more in detail.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop

Published At December 14, 2022
Reviewed AtFebruary 2, 2023


Nutrition primarily has a vital role in ancient healing procedures and hypotheses. Along with sustaining a healthy weight and being physically engaged, a balanced plant-based meal with reduced amounts of fast foods, sugary beverages, red meat, and alcohol is suggested for improving health. Because of the common risk factors, such a path of life enables control of cancer and additional non-communicable diseases. Although these realities are widely understood, the figures are even threatening.

One in five men and one in six women worldwide experience certain kinds of cancer in their lifetime, and those diagnosed live longer than ever due to screening, vaccination, and advancements in therapy; nevertheless, even for cancers with adequate therapy choices, prevention has the most potential to lessen cancer's disadvantage in the known population.

What Are the Facts and Figures of Cancer Prevention?

Cancer is one of the most typical reasons for death. Around 25 % of the German population dies because of cancer, making it the second most typical reason for death. Endogenous or exogenous elements can begin cancer development. Endogenous elements are age and genetic predisposition, which cannot be impacted by lifestyle or manners. Smoking and food nourishment are the main reasons for cancer in the exogenous environmental factors and lifestyle elements. Although the number of smokers, in general, are declining, smoking and openness to tobacco smoke are the ultimate reasons for avoidable deaths worldwide. Smoking is the main hazard element for lung cancer.

Approximately 80 % of deaths from lung cancer are connected to smoking. Therefore, there is no suspicion that smoking should be bypassed to control lung cancer. Numerous global studies have examined the consequences of nutrition and diet on cellular functions of carcinogenesis, like apoptosis, the cell cycle, immunity, and inflammation. These analysis actions indicate that healthy balanced nourishment helps in a satisfactory supply of nutrients to the entire-body level as well as at the cellular and molecular levels. Improper nutrition in these classes affects the microenvironment and metabolism.

This causes cells conducive for dangerous transformations like a collection of DNA damage and, consequently, for cancer development. An evaluated balance of 30 percent and 50 percent of cancer cases are preventable via a healthy lifestyle and bypassing occupational carcinogens and environmental toxins. This number varies according to the cancer type. Lung and colorectal cancer have the most elevated rates of potentially preventable cases.

What Are the Cancer Prevention Suggestions of the World Cancer Research Fund?

One of the numerous significant scientific organizations in lifestyle and cancer prevention is the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). This not-for-profit organization includes internationally recognized, independent specialists from all over the world, investigating and considering the proof of how lifestyle characteristics impact cancer risk. After examining the proof, these researchers suggest certain diets, nutrition, and physical activity, which can save from cancer and entirely impact survival following a diagnosis. While observing each guideline, one can control cancer. The advantage is best when observing all suggestions and assessing them as a complete way of life.

1) Maintain a Healthy Weight: The foremost and most significant WCRF recommendation is keeping body weight within a healthy range. It should be as low as possible. This is because extremely powerful evidence shows that being overweight is a hazard factor for cancer. Normal weight or healthy weight is assessed by BMI (Body Mass Index). As evolving overweight starts in childhood, extra weight gain must be controlled from infancy. For grown-ups, it is also satisfactory to keep energy balance and weight their whole life. There is substantial proof that greater body heaviness can induce diverse cancers.

2) Be Physically Active: There is substantial evidence that physical activity decreases the hazard of several kinds of cancers. Thus walking more and sitting less are the principles of the WCRF about exercise. The proof is specifically substantial for colon, breast, and endometrial cancer, but physical exercise may also decrease the hazard of other cancers. The World Health Organization suggests being active daily and restricting sedentary manners. At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity training or at least 75 minutes of energetic activity every week is the recommendation for adults. It does not count what kind of action you choose.

  • Eat a Diet Rich in Whole Grains, Vegetables, Fruit, and Beans - Plant-based meals should include a major part of the diet for cancer prevention. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and pulses like beans or lentils deliver many vital nutrients and dietary fibers.

  • Limitation of Consumption of Fast Foods and Other Processed Foods Rich in Fat, Starches, or Sugars - These foods are commonly palatable, easily available, and affordable. They mainly have more energy but fewer micronutrients than unprocessed foods. Thus, they facil­itate extra energy consumption comparable to energy ex­penditure, which, in turn, readily guides to weight gain and to evolve overweight.

  • Limit Consumption of Red and Processed Meat - The dietary objective of the WCRF regarding meat is not to take more than 350 to 500 grams of red meat in a week. Red meat includes beef, lamb, goat, and horse.

  • Control Ingestion of Sugar-Sweetened Drinks - Increased amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages can generate weight gain and cause people to be overweight. Generating no satiety signal but delivering many calories, sugar-sweetened beverages enable an energy input that surpasses energy expenditure.

  • Control Alcohol Consumption - For cancer prevention, it is most suitable to have no alcohol. Slight amounts of alcohol may improve the hazard of at least certain types of cancers, which verifies this tough WCRF guideline.

  • Avoid Using Supplements for Cancer Prevention - There is no proof that nutritional supplements can control cancer. Typically, it must be considered that a healthy balanced diet is composed of nutritious foods.


Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. With increasing incidence, it has recently substituted cardiovascular diseases as the most typical reason for death in certain countries. Thus, cancer and other NCDs include a huge burden for affected people, their families, and society, as these conditions often entail massive economic costs. However, a healthy lifestyle could control almost half of all cases. Prevention of cancer thus demands surgent policy activity. The WCRF cancer prevention recommendations support protecting health by encouraging physical activity and balanced nutrition, healthy food behaviors, and maintaining a normal weight.

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Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop
Dr. Achanta Krishna Swaroop



cancer prevention
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