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national cancer control programme Cancer prevention

Recommendations for Cancer Prevention

These recommendations are based on the findings of the WCRF/AICR report Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective [1].

Expert Report Recommendations

 ilustrační obrázek: marin ( Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
  • Convincing evidence shows that weight gain and obesity increases the risk of a number of cancers, including bowel and breast cancer. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular physical activity to help keep your risk lower.
ilustrační obrázek: tiverylucky ( Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • There is strong evidence that physical activity protects against cancers including bowel and breast cancer. Being physically active is also key to maintaining a healthy weight. Any type of activity counts – the more you do the better! Try to build some into your everyday life.
ilustrační obrázek: KEKO64 ( Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (foods high in fats and/or added sugars and/or low in fibre) and avoid sugary drinks.
  • Energy-dense foods are high in fats sugars and can be low in nutrients. These foods, especially when consumed frequently or in large portions, increase the risk of obesity, which increases the risk of cancer. Fast foods like burgers, chips, fried chicken and most pizzas, and snack foods like chocolate, crisps and biscuits tend to be energy dense.
  • Some energy-dense foods, such as nuts, seeds and some vegetable oils are important sources of nutrients, and have not been linked with weight gain as part of a typical diet.
ilustrační obrázek: amenic181 ( Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, and pulses such as beans.
  • Evidence shows that vegetables, fruits and other foods containing dietary fibre (such as wholegrains and pulses) may protect against a range of cancers including mouth, stomach and bowel cancer. They also help to protect against weight gain and obesity.
  • As well as eating your 5 A DAY, try to include wholegrains (e.g. brown rice, wholemeal bread and pasta) and/or pulses with every meal.
  • Sugary drinks, such as colas and fruit squashes can also contribute to weight gain. Fruit juices, even without added sugar, are likely to have a similar effect, so try not to drink them in large quantities.
  • Try to eat lower energy-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits and wholegrains instead. Opt for water or unsweetened tea or coffee in place of sugary drinks.
 ilustrační obrázek: Serge Bertasius ( Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
  • There is strong evidence that red and processed meats are causes of bowel cancer, and that there is no amount of processed meat that can be confidently shown not to increase risk.
  • Aim to limit intake of red meat to less than 500g cooked weight (about 700-750g raw weight) a week. Try to avoid processed meats such as bacon, ham, salami, corned beef and some sausages.
 ilustrační obrázek: Master isolated images ( If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
  • Since the 1997 report, the evidence that alcoholic drinks can increase the risk of a number of cancers, including breast and colon cancer, is much stronger.
  • Any alcohol consumption can increase your risk of cancer, though there is some evidence to suggest that small amounts of alcohol can help protect against heart disease. Therefore, if you choose to drink, do so in moderation.
 ilustrační obrázek: antpkr ( Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
  • Evidence shows that salt and salt-preserved foods probably cause stomach cancer. Try to use herbs and spices to flavour your food and remember that processed foods, including bread and breakfast cereals, can contain large amounts of salt.
ilustrační obrázek: Getideaka ( Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer.
  • Research shows that high-dose nutrient supplements can affect our risk of cancer, so it's best to opt for a balanced diet without supplements.
  • However, supplements are advisable for some groups of people (if you have any doubts, ask your doctor).

Special Population Recommendations

ilustrační obrázek: Jomphong ( It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods.
  • Strong evidence shows that breastfeeding protects mothers against breast cancer and babies from excess weight gain.
ilustrační obrázek: Apolonia ( After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.
  • The Report found growing evidence that maintaining a healthy weight through diet and physical activity may help to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

Cancer screening programmes

Screening is a strategy used in a population to detect a disease in individuals without signs or symptoms of that disease. The intention of screening is to identify disease in a community early, thus enabling earlier intervention and management in the hope to reduce morbidity and mortality from a disease. However, not all cancer types are suitable for screening; a “suitable” cancer type should meet the following criteria:

  • morbidity of this cancer type is relatively high,
  • an effective treatment for early stages of this cancer type is available,
  • an affordable test exists for the detection of this cancer type.

Main benefits of screening tests involve significant improvements in disease prognosis, together with the prospect of less radical (mostly also less expensive) treatment which, in fact, is usually much more effective. The following screening programmes have proved to be highly effective:

visit to find more information on breast cancer prevention

Breast Cancer Screening Programme in the Czech Republic

visit to find more information on cervical cancer prevention

Cervical Cancer Screening Programme in the Czech Republic

visit to find more information on bowel cancer prevention

Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme in the Czech Republic


  1. World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington DC: AICR, 2007. Available at: