Up to 29% of cases of the UK’s 13 most common cancers could be prevented each year, by following recommendations on diet, nutrition, physical activity and body fatness alone. Add in smoking, alcohol, UV-exposure, breastfeeding and radiation - and that number becomes even greater.
Despite the increasing body of evidence for cancer risk reduction, and the fact that cancer incidence in Scotland is projected to increase by 34.1% in men and 32.9% in women between 2008-12 and 2023-27, public awareness of the links between lifestyle and cancer risk is relatively low, and the need for public health action in this area is crucial.
The European Code Against Cancer - which provides 12 recommendations for cancer risk reduction and scientific justification - "recommends that people have a healthy diet to reduce their risk of cancer: they should eat plenty of whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits; limit high-calorie foods (foods high in sugar or fat); avoid sugary drinks and processed meat; and limit red meat and foods high in salt." 
To help make it easier to follow the recommendations on diet and help stack the odds against cancer risk, the SCPN have curated a collection of recipes which can help to introduce healthier meals into your diet. They don't form part of a recommended diet of any kind, but simply provide some inspiration towards making your meals healthier. The collection available online at the moment is relatively small, but we will continue to add more of our existing recipes with time, and of course, add any new recipes from our contributors.
- World Cancer Research Fund. (2015) ‘Updated estimates of cancer preventability (PAF%) by appropriate diet, nutrition, physical activity, and body fatness in four countries’. Available at: http://www.wcrf.org/int/cancer-facts-figures/preventability-estimates/cancer-preventability-estimates-diet-nutrition (Accessed: 9 February 2017).
- Information Services Division, NHS National Services Scotland. (2015) ‘Cancer Incidence Projections for Scotland 2013-2027’. Available at: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Cancer-Statistics/Incidence-Projections/ (Accessed: 9 February 2017).
- Norat T, Scoccianti C, et al. (2014) 'European Code against Cancer 4th Edition: Diet and cancer'. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26164653 (Accessed 16 May 2017).