A middle age couple picking apples in a fruit garden

Ways to reduce cancer risk

Overall, scientists estimate that about a third of the 13 most common cancers in the UK could be prevented through improved diet, physical activity and body weight. Here we provide advice on how to reduce your cancer risk.

healthy food and tape measure

Be a healthy weight

Keep your weight as low as you can within the healthy range

Senior man swimmer with towel

Move more

Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day, and sit less

Woman in supermarket with shopping list

Avoid high-calorie foods and drinks

Limit high-calorie foods and avoid sugary drinks

Plant foods

Enjoy more grains, veg, fruits and beans

Eat a wide variety of wholegrains, vegetables, fruits and pulses such as beans

Slices of bacon

Limit red meat and avoid processed meat

Eat no more than 500g (cooked weight) a week of red meat and eat little, if any, processed meat

Middle aged man drinking wine

For cancer prevention, don’t drink alcohol

If you do, limit alcoholic drinks and follow national guidelines

Salt shaker with salt

Eat less salt

Limit your salt intake to less than 6g (2.4g sodium) a day by adding less salt and eating less food processed with salt

Close-up of open, white plastic pill bottle of vitamin supplements

Don’t rely on supplements

Eat a healthy diet rather than relying on supplements to protect against cancer

Newborn sucks mother's breast, breastfeeding

Breastfeed your baby

If you can, breastfeed your baby for six months before adding other liquids and foods

Granddaughter hugging her grandmother

Cancer survivors

After cancer treatment, the best advice is to follow our Recommendations