World Cancer Day: Eating And Lifestyle Tips For Cancer Prevention

World Cancer Day, observed every year on February 4th, is a global initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to raise awareness about cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. This day unites people around the world in the fight against the cancer epidemic, emphasising the importance of early detection, education, and lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of cancer.

Cancer prevention is a critical aspect of reducing the global impact of the disease. While not all cancers are preventable, several lifestyle and dietary measures can significantly lower the risk of developing many types of cancer. Here are 10 tips for healthy eating and lifestyle choices that may help prevent cancer:


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Healthy Eating for Cancer Prevention


1. Consume Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of certain types of cancer. These foods contain essential nutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamins, minerals, and fibre, which can protect cells from damage. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends aiming for at least five servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables each day to gain the maximum health benefits, including cancer prevention. One serving of fruits or vegetables is typically considered to be 80 grams. This is roughly equivalent to a medium piece of fruit (like an apple or orange), 1 small bowl of salad leaves, or 3-4 heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables (like peas, sweetcorn, sliced cabbage, mushrooms, or runner beans).

2. Choose Whole Grains

Whole grains are packed with fibre, which not only aids digestion but also may help prevent colorectal cancer. Replace refined grains with whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat. Dietary guidelines often suggest aiming for at least half of all grains consumed to be whole grains.

3. Limit Red and Processed Meat

Consuming large amounts of red meat and processed meats can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends that individuals who eat red meat should consume less than 500 grams (cooked weight) per week, including beef, lamb, or pork.  Additionally, they advocate for minimal intake of processed meats to reduce cancer risk, particularly colorectal cancer. Processed meats are those that have been altered by methods such as salting, curing, fermenting, or smoking to enhance their flavour or extend their shelf life. Examples of processed meats include ham, sausages, luncheon meat, hot dogs, bacon, salami, corned beef, and beef jerky. These products often contain high levels of sodium and preservatives, including nitrates or nitrites, which have been linked to an increased risk of cancers, particularly colorectal cancer.

It is advisable to consider leaner protein sources such as skinless poultry, fish and seafoods, or plant-based proteins including tofu, legumes and lentils.

4. Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of several cancers, including breast, liver, and colorectal cancer. Limiting alcohol or avoiding it altogether can reduce these risks. Here are some tips for reducing alcohol intake:

  • Set Limits: Decide on a fixed number of drinks per week and stick to it.
  • Measure Drinks: Use standard measures to avoid overpouring.
  • Alternate Drinks: Swap alcoholic drinks with water or non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Plan Alcohol-Free Days: Choose specific days to abstain from alcohol completely.
  • Slow Pace: Sip slowly and limit yourself to one drink per hour.
  • Avoid Peer Pressure: Learn to say no and stick to your drinking goals.
  • Track Consumption: Keep a diary of your drinking to monitor intake.

5. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is a known risk factor for various types of cancer. By eating a balanced diet and controlling portion sizes, you can maintain a healthy weight, which is crucial for cancer prevention.


Lifestyle Choices for Cancer Prevention


1. Stay Physically Active

Regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which reduces the risk of cancer. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.

2. Avoid Tobacco

Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer worldwide. Avoiding tobacco, or deciding to quit, is one of the most important health decisions you can make.

3. Protect Yourself from the Sun

Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer — and one of the most preventable. Use sunscreen, seek shade, and wear protective clothing to reduce your risk.

4. Get Regular Medical Care

Regular screenings can detect cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, oral cavity, and skin early. Early detection is key to successful treatment and can significantly increase the chances of survival.

5. Get Vaccinated

Vaccines can protect against certain viral infections that can lead to cancer. For example, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and several other types of cancer.


World Cancer Day serves as a reminder that through healthy eating and lifestyle choices, we can take actionable steps towards cancer prevention. While these tips are not a guarantee against cancer, they can significantly reduce the risk and contribute to overall health and well-being.

Remember, these guidelines are for general information purposes and should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalised recommendations.







  1. 多吃水果和蔬菜



  1. 選擇全穀物



  1. 限制紅肉和加工肉類的攝取




  1. 減少飲酒


  • 設定限制:決定每週固定的飲酒數量並堅持。
  • 量度飲品:使用標準量度以避免過量倒酒。
  • 交替飲用:用水或非酒精飲料替換酒精飲品。
  • 計劃無酒日:選擇特定的日子完全不飲酒。
  • 慢速飲用:慢慢啜飲,並限制每小時一杯飲品。
  • 避免同儕壓力:學會說不,堅持你的飲酒目標。
  • 追踪消費:記錄你的飲酒日誌以監控攝取量。


  1. 保持健康體重





  1. 保持身體活躍



  1. 避免使用煙草



  1. 保護自己免受陽光傷害



  1. 定期進行醫療檢查



  1. 接種疫苗