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Reduce Risk During Cancer Control Month

Contributors: Esther Ellis, MS, RDN, LDN

Reviewers: Academy Nutrition Information Services Team

Published: April 04, 2019

Reviewed: March 19, 2024

Cancer Awareness
Alexandr Makarov/Hemera/Thinkstock

April is Cancer Control Month, a time to focus on what you can do to reduce your risk of cancer.
In the United States, men have nearly a 1 in 2 lifetime risk of developing cancer; for women, the risk is closer to 1 in 3. Lifestyle changes, along with early detection, can potentially help prevent 42% of the most common cancers, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
The food you eat is an important factor within your control that can help reduce your risk. In fact, nutrition guidelines for cancer prevention are similar to those for preventing the risk of developing other diseases including heart disease and diabetes. Here are some general healthful eating guidelines to help reduce your cancer risk.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Participate in regular physical activity and make healthful food choices. 
  • Eat vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables and make at least half your grains whole grains.
  • Limit red and processed meats. Choose a variety of protein foods, including seafood, poultry, legumes, eggs and nuts.
  • Limit alcohol. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one drink daily for women and two for men.
  • Consume less salt (sodium). Read food labels to learn exactly how much sodium is in a product.

To learn more about diet and cancer prevention, as well as diet and nutrition during and after cancer treatment, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area and visit our cancer section to read more articles with important information.

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