By Cancer Site

Evidence shows that our risk for many types of cancer is related to diet, physical activity and weight. For some cancers, it is not yet possible to determine if these factors play a role. This does not mean such links do not exist, simply that more research is needed. AICR/WCRF reports examine the evidence linking diet, physical activity and weight to 17 cancer types using a rigorous and systematic process.

Evidence of Lifestyle Link

For the cancers listed below, evidence emerged that diet, weight and physical activity can raise or lower risk:

No Strong Evidence of a Lifestyle Link

AICR reports also examined the available evidence for other cancers using the same process. The results are as follows*:

  • Cervical Cancer
    There is as yet no strong evidence that any aspect of diet, physical activity and weight influences the risk of cervical cancer.
  • Bladder Cancer
    There is as yet no strong evidence that any aspect of diet, physical activity and weight influences the risk of bladder cancer.
  • Skin Cancer
    It is well established that skin cancer is directly caused by excessive sun exposure. No strong evidence emerged, that skin cancer links to diet, weight and physical activity with the exception of arsenic in drinking water, for which a probable link to skin cancer was found.
  • Nasopharyngeal Cancer
    This cancer is rare in the United States but common in Southern China. Analysis of global evidence concluded that Cantonese-style salted fish is probably a cause of this cancer.

Other Cancers

For the following cancers, evidence was too limited to examine. AICR/WCRF reports issued no conclusions about them but flagged the need for further research on possible lifestyle links*.

  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s)
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Cancers of the Musculoskelatal System (Liposarcoma, fibrosarcoma, osteosarcoma, myosarcoma)
  • Cancers of the Nervous system (Glioblastoma, meningoma, sellar tumor, cranial tumor, spinal nerve tumor, central nervous system lymphoma)

*NOTE: Although there is currently insufficient evidence to definitively determine if these cancers are related to diet, weight and physical activity, AICR funds innovative research involving these cancers that seeks to find and map such links.


What the Panel’s Judgments Mean

strong, consistent and unlikely to change in the future

compelling but not quite strong or consistent enough to be "convincing"

Limited Evidence – Suggestive
too limited for a grade of "probable", but a general consistency in the data

Limited Evidence – No Conclusion
too inconsistent or insufficient for a definitive grade

Substantial Effect on Risk Unlikely
enough evidence to rule out a connection