Cancer Prevention Recommendations

Our Cancer Prevention Recommendations are the conclusions of an independent panel of experts – they represent a package of healthy lifestyle choices which, together, can make an enormous impact on people’s likelihood of developing cancer and other non-communicable diseases over their lifetimes.

Be a healthy weight

Keep your weight within the healthy range and avoid weight gain in adult life

Understand the research

Be physically active

We recommend being physically active as part of everyday life – walk more and sit less

Why does activity help?

Eat a better diet

Make wholegrains, veg, fruit and beans a major part of your usual diet

Why diet is important

Limit "fast foods"

Limit consumption of ‘fast foods’ and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars

Our thoughts on fast food

Limit red and processed meat

Eat no more than moderate amounts of red meat, such as beef, pork and lamb. Eat little, if any, processed meat.

Why avoid red meat?

Cut down on sugary drinks

Limit sugar sweetened drinks, drink mostly water and unsweetened drinks

What's the evidence?

Limit alcohol consumption

For cancer prevention, it’s best not to drink alcohol

Our advice on alcohol

Do not use supplements for cancer prevention

Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone

What's wrong with supplements?

Breastfeed your baby, if you can

Breastfeeding is good for both mother and baby

What's the evidence?

After a cancer diagnosis

Follow our Recommendations, if you’re able to

Stick to our advice

Regional variations

Depending on local customs, there are differences

Where things differ

What's the evidence?

Explore the studies that back up our advice

What's the evidence?

Smoking and excess sun

In addition to the above recommendations, not smoking and avoiding other exposure to tobacco and excess sun are also important in reducing cancer risk.