Dietary Prevention of Cancer, Research Paper Sample

Published: 2022-04-07
Dietary Prevention of Cancer, Research Paper Sample
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Cancer Diet
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1811 words
16 min read

Cancer is a disease whereby cells grow abnormally and quickly multiply resulting in them invading healthy tissue. Perumana, Oommen and Pillai (2014) state that in a fit body without cancer, cell division and growth is normal and happens in a controlled manner whereby cells replicate themselves to form other healthy cells. Cancer causes a mutative change in the cell replication process that transfers to the daughter cells (Perumana, Oommen & Pillai, 2014). There are several types of cancer with the most common being breast cancer, brain cancer, blood cancer (leukemia), and lung cancer among others (Perumana, Oommen & Pillai, 2014). There is no known cure for cancer with the only possible way of 'cure' being the elimination of the malignant cells by surgical removal or killing them using radioactive radiation therapy or chemotherapy (Perumana, Oommen & Pillai, 2014). However, even with the various medical solutions available, that may help to cure cancer potentially, there is no assurance that going through such a procedure will completely cure the ailment. Due to the many potential complications associated with the disease, it is important that everyone learns different life practices that could significantly reduce the risk of a cancer attack. Among other methods, dietary management is a standard cancer prevention method, and it is, therefore, crucial that people eat healthy which could significantly reduce the risk of them getting cancer.

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Various scientific studies have been conducted to find out more about how to reduce the risk of cancer through controlled dietary practices with supporting physical activity that will supplement the dieting techniques. According to Magee (2016), the primary nutritional factors that increase the risk of cancer are obesity and excessive alcohol consumption accompanied by a diet lacking enough fruits and vegetables and that which has an abundance of red meat. Scientists have found that excessive intake of red or processed meat is linked to breast cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer which researchers say relates to the existence of carcinogens in meats heated at high temperatures (Magee, 2016). Smith and Robinson (2017) state that even though there exists no magic food or diet that is guaranteed to cure or prevent cancer, lifestyle factors that mainly include dietary intake and physical activity can be potentially significant in lowering the risk of cancer. For people who are currently fighting the disease, it is advisable to have a strict and proper diet that will help maintain strength and boost general health and wellbeing of the individuals as they acquire the necessary treatment. By avoiding a diet with foods that increase the risk of cancer and having one with more of the foods that sustain the immune system, people can better protect themselves from diseases such as cancer.

Link between Cancer and Diet

Some of the cancer risk factors including genetics and environmental elements may be out of people's control. However, research suggests that about 70% of the lifetime risks of cancer are within one's power to manage mainly through dietary restriction (Smith and Robinson, 2017). What people eat or do not eat has a significant effect on their health which includes the risk of having cancer. Whereas research tends to relate the risk of cancer to specific foods, specific dietary practices could have a significant impact on the potential risk. Smith and Robinson (2017) states that having a regular Mediterranean diet that has an abundance of fruit, vegetables and healthy fats such as olive oils can significantly reduce the risk of many common cancers especially breast cancer. Diet has a vital function in the control of the disease since it is the source of essential bodily functional mechanisms. Many scientific types of research support the idea that dietary enhancements can avert the resurgence of breast cancer and a connection between massive consumption of saturated fats and the prevalence of various kinds of cancer. Excessive and continued alcoholic intake is also related to a higher risk of cancers of the oral cavity among others.

Dietary Cancer Prevention Methods

Cancer prevention involves taking necessary precautions to lower the probability of getting cancer that includes minimal contact or avoidance of exposure to risk elements and increasing the exposure to shielding factors. Smith and Robinson (2017) state that the best way to lower one's risk of many types of cancer among other diseases is to have a proper diet with foods abundant in antioxidant-rich foods and to limit intake of processed and fried foods, unhealthy fats, sugars and refined carbohydrates. Some of the most common plant-based foods are rich in antioxidant nutrients that support the immune system and assist in the defense against cancer cells. These measures if well observed could potentially and significantly reduce the risks of an individual getting cancer.

Fiber in Prevention of Cancer

Fibers are thought to be the chief dietary constituent in foods that have long been identified for their exceptional properties in the prevention and treatment of cancer associated with their antineoplastic elements. According to Perumana, Oommen and Pillai (2014), a scientific experiment found that in the continents of Africa and Asia in which high fiber diets are majorly taken while the most colon cancer rates were realized in Western countries where processed carbohydrates have substituted the naturally available fiber-rich foods. In the Western countries, the consumption of organic foods and fiber was found to be subsequently reducing. The epidemiologic experiments and clinical investigations are done in the field of cancer research suggest that the risk of other cancers apart from colon cancer can also be reduced by increasing the intake of dietary fibers. These nutrients are associated with high consumption of grains, vegetables, and fruits. There is an inverse occurrence of colon cancer and the amount of fiber consumed.

Alcoholic and cancer risk

According to National Cancer Institute (2018), extensive scientific experiments on the effects of alcohol suggests that there is a relationship between alcohol drinking and several types of cancer. Based on data from 2009 collected by the National Toxicology Program in the United States, an estimated 3.5 % of all cancer deaths were alcohol-related (National Cancer Institute, 2018). The most common cancers associated with alcohol consumption are cancers of the head and neck, esophagus, liver, breast, and colorectal. National Cancer Institute (2018) states that through various research, alcohol has been identified as increasing the risk of cancer through toxic component chemicals that damage DNA, proteins, and lipids through oxidation. It could also impair the body's ability to absorb nutrients that are crucial to cancer risk prevention. National Cancer Institute (2018) adds that even after heavy alcohol drinkers stop drinking, the risk is still high for ex-drinkers based on a pooled analysis of 13 case-control studies of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx. National Cancer Institute (2018) states that researchers from the American Society of Clinical Oncology recently carried out an experiment to determine the association between drinking and alcohol and cancer risk. The results concluded that in the year 2012, 5.5 % of all cases of cancer and 5.8 % of cancer deaths were due to alcohol consumption. The research also found out that the risk was ever higher for individuals who used both alcohol and tobacco.

Processed foods and cancer

According to Boseley (2018), a team of researchers based in Paris investigated medical records and eating habits of about 105000 people who were part of a national study and realized that with a 10% increase in the amount of processed food consumed, there was a subsequent increase in cancer and especially that of the breast. Critics of ultra-processed foods believe that this kind of processing wastes most of the nutrients and causes a subsequent increase in the risk of cancer. The risk relates to the high amount of sugar, salt, fats, and additives present in ultra-processed foods. The poor nutritional quality of processed foods could be the reason why the products have such an adverse effect on health (Boseley, 2018). A major factor could be that processed foods have inflammatory constituents such as sugar and fats which could increase the possibility of cancer.

Retinoids and Carotenoids in Cancer Management

Dilipkumar, Subham and Ashoke (2012) state that in recent scientific research in the field of nutrition and cancer, retinoids or carotenoids categorized under micronutrients can lower the degree of epithelial cell cancers. These types of cancers have been found to be responsible for more than 90% of all cancer deaths especially lung cancer which is responsible for 25% of all cancer deaths in the United States (Dilipkumar, Subham & Ashoke, 2012). Retinol is composed of Vitamin A and can be acquired from foods such as liver, egg yolk, and vitamin pills. Carotenoids that also contain vitamin A can be obtained from foods such as deep green and orange vegetables and fruits. From laboratory investigations, retinol has been found to possess potent hormones like effects on cell growth and differentiation of epithelial tissues. Dilipkumar, Subham and Ashoke (2012) also mentions that most types of epithelial tissues depend on retinoids to control healthy cell growth and differentiation and therefore play a significant role in the prevention of cervical cancer, among other cancers. Carotenoids components are believed to possess elements that are useful in chemoprevention of cancer. According to Dilipkumar, Subham and Ashoke (2012), there are more than 85 questionnaires collected from studies in the United States showing consumption of fruits and vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene which is a component of carotenoids. The results show that there are numerous benefits of intake of foods rich in carotene especially in the prevention of lung cancer and cancer of the esophagus. There have also been indications of some indication of beneficial effects of foods rich in beta-carotene in the prevention of breast cancer, cervix cancer, and ovarian cancer.


Diet is considered one of the essential factors in the management and prevention of cancer. The essay shows that there is the need for a significant change in dietary goals to reduce the risk of cancer. In summary, there should be less processed foods and animal fats and more of organic plant-based products on a regular basis. Fiber should also be in abundance in the foods taken with avoidance of chronic alcoholic consumption. Retinoids, carotenoids among other vitamins should also be taken in large amounts to enhance the strength of the immune system which will help it to combat diseases and reduce the risk of getting cancer. It is also widely believed with scientific backing that the less alcohol one drinks directly relates to a lower risk of cancer. Therefore, there is a need and evident importance of having a proper diet that includes more foods that reduce the risk of cancer and less of those that increase the risk. Making dietary adjustments supported by other lifestyle changes could be a significant step towards having long-term health and reducing the possibility of getting cancer.


Boseley, S. (2018, February 15). Ultra-processed foods may be linked to cancer, says study. Retrieved from

Dilipkumar, P, Subham, B, Ashoke, K.G, (2012). Dietary-induced cancer prevention: An expanding research arena of emerging diet related to healthcare system. (2012, January). Retrieved from https:/...

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