6 Active Steps To Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

Cancer is one of the most feared diseases today, but there are 6 Active Steps To Reduce Your Risk of Cancer that you can take starting today.

Did you know that the number one cancer killer in the US of both men and women is lung cancer? [1] With colorectal cancer coming second.[2]

But did you know that one third of all cancer cases are preventable?[3]

Or that an estimated 340,000 cancer cases per year can be prevented with a healthy diet, physical activity, and a consistently healthy weight?[4]

In some cancers, such as esophageal, it is estimated that 63% of cases can be prevented.[5] But that’s not all, thousands of cases of breast, colorectal, endometrial, gall bladder, kidney, liver, lung, mouth, ovarian, pancreatic, advanced prostrate and stomach can be prevented by diet, activity and weight management.[6]

Everyday you make decisions on what to eat and how to exercise; all of these decisions can impact on your chance of getting cancer.

Some of your choices may increase your risk, and some may decrease it. If you’re struggling to know what are the good choices and what are the bad ones, then read on to find out.

There are no guarantees, but research over the years has shown that you can take steps right now to protect yourself against cancer.

So what are these 6 Active Steps To Reduce Your Risk of Cancer and how do you start?

You can start by applying the Precautionary Principle to Diet and Cancer.

‘The precautionary principle or precautionary approach to risk management states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action.’[7]

A group of researchers sought to adopt the precautionary principle for nutrition to help doctors, and people like you and me, make decisions about what we eat easier if we know how it can potentially reduce the occurrence of cancer.[8]

Here are the 6 Active Steps To Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

  1. Avoid dairy products to reduce risk of prostate cancer.
  2. Limit or avoid alcohol to reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, and breast.
  3. Avoid red and processed meat to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.
  4. Avoid grilled, fried, and broiled meats to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, prostate, kidney, and pancreas.
  5. Women should consume soy products in adolescence to reduce risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer survivors should consume soy products to reduce risk of cancer recurrence and overall mortality.
  6. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to reduce risk of several forms of cancer.

Here’s an easy picture to show you how drinking or eating can increase or decrease your risk of cancer. Just click it to make it bigger.


In other words, if you follow a whole food, plant-based diet, you will naturally add cancer protective foods to your diet and subtract the foods that increase the risk of cancer.

If you’re struggling to know how to start here are four tips:

  1. Have a plant-based soup for lunch with a salad or start your evening meal with a plant-based soup or salad. Check out my recipes here for inspiration.
  2. If you’re gradually transitioning to eating plant-based, add more vegetables and fruit to your existing meals. For example:

– Try stuffing your usual chicken sandwich with slices of (bell) pepper, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, watercress, spinach and arugula/rocket.

– Add broccoli or peas to your pasta salad

– Add sliced strawberries or bananas to your morning porridge/oatmeal

– Pack your pizza full of veggies such as (bell) peppers, red onions, leeks, raisins, tomatoes, peas and sweetcorn.

  1. When you’re out and about don’t be tempted by fast food, think ahead and take some fruit such as an apple or banana, grapes or cherries. Pre cut some cucumbers, carrots or (bell) peppers. Cauliflower and broccoli florets are also good. Just put them in sealable container or a freezer bag.
  2. Stick to water, unsweetened black or herbal teas and unsweetened, black coffee. Soda / fizzy drinks are full of sugar and empty calories that will do nothing for your weight. Try to stay away from fruit juices as well. They’re loaded with sugar and have most of the fibre removed. To read more on fibre and cancer read my 5 fabulous reasons fill fibre and check out the information on page 10 in this PDF.

If you’re still thinking that this is far to hard and is quite extreme, consider what Dr Greger says:

‘Some criticise plant-based diets as extreme or draconian. You want extreme, though, check out the consequences of our present diet. Having a breastbone sawed in half for bypass surgery or a stroke that renders one a mute can be construed as extreme, or having a breast, prostate, colon, or rectum removed to treat cancer—that’s extreme. Eating a bean burrito is easy.’[9]

Following a whole food, plant-based diet will not only helps to prevent the usual dreaded diseases—cancers, heart attacks, arthritis, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and vision loss—but it may also help prevent brain loss and Alzheimer’s as well.’[10]

The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) runs Food for Life classes teaching people the Power of Food for Cancer Prevention and Survival. To find out if there’s a class near you, go here.

I’ll leave you with a final thought from Dr Kim Alan Williams who earlier this year became President of the American College of Cardiology. He was asked why he follows his own advice to eat a plant-based diet.

“I don’t mind dying,” Dr. Williams replied. “I just don’t want it to be my fault.”

If you’re just starting out on your plant-based journey then the following articles will help you.

How to get started on your plant-based journey to learn about the power plate. It was developed by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and provides optimal health for you and your family and is brilliantly flexible so you can eat in a way that suits your taste and lifestyle whilst getting all the nutrients you need.

If you’re struggling to eat more whole grains everyday, check out my five tips to help you here: How to easily eat more whole grains everyday

And if you’d like to read more about the power of fibre and why it’s so good for you, then read my 5 fabulous reasons fill fibre You should also check out the information on page 10 in this PDF.

A typical food plan for the day may look like this:

7 of the best ever plant-based breakfastsOatmeal/porridge for breakfast made with water or plant-based milks such as rice milk. Topped with fresh fruit such as sliced banana. Two slices of wholemeal toast, spread with 100% fruit jams. Read about my 7 of the best ever plant-based breakfasts 

Water and/or tea or coffee, black or made with plant-based milks.

11 Simple Plant-Based Snacks to Enjoy at WorkMid morning snack of fruit, or read my post on 11 simple plant based snacks to enjoy at work

For lunch7 Inspiring Plant-Based Sandwich Fillings For Your Lunch, how about a baked potato topped with veggie chilli, or soup and a salad. For ideas on sandwich fillings read my blog post on 7 inspiring plant based sandwich fillings for your lunch

For an afternoon snack remember to check out my suggestions here: 11 simple plant based snacks to enjoy at work

Now it comes to dinner. What’s quick to make, nourishing and doesn’t cost the earth? Try some of my delicious dinner recipes.

Let me know in the comments section below if you’ve found my post: 6 Active Steps To Reduce Your Risk of Cancer useful . I always love hearing from you! 

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[1] http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/statistics/index.htm

[2] http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/index.htm

[3] http://www.who.int/cancer/prevention/en/

[4] http://www.aicr.org/research/research_science_policy_report.html

[5] http://www.aicr.org/research/research_science_policy_report.html

[6] http://www.aicr.org/research/research_science_policy_report.html

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precautionary_principle

[8] http://www.pubfacts.com/detail/24870117/Applying-the-precautionary-principle-to-nutrition-and-cancer.

[9] http://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-as-medicine/

[10] http://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-as-medicine/