Diet and Cancer Prevention

Image source: American Institute for Cancer Research (2014)

Despite being in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, nutrition related chronic disease still remains a serious public health issue that warrants our attention. Reducing risk of cancer through diet, lifestyle and screening is just as important now as ever. The lockdown period has been a time for reflection and, for some people, an opportunity to consider healthier diet and lifestyle choices. There is strong evidence that several dietary factors play a role in increasing or decreasing risk for certain types of cancer. We want to discuss these factors and highlight how we as nutrition professionals can promote healthy eating and lifestyles for long term health and cancer prevention. 

We have a real treat in store for our final twitter chat this month before we take a break for summer! We are very excited to welcome not one but two expert guest moderators for our #NutrCancerPrev chat. We are delighted to have both Professor Annie Anderson from the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network and Isobel Bandurek from the World Cancer Research Fund International as guest moderators.

Professor Annie Anderson

Annie is a Professor of Public Health Nutrition and Co-director of the Centre for Research into Cancer Prevention and Screening at Ninewells Medical School, University of Dundee. She trained in nutrition and after two years clinical dietetic practice in Cambridge moved to an academic career. Following a PhD at the University of Aberdeen and research posts at the University of Glasgow and the MRC Medical Sociology Unit she was appointed to a Professorial post in the University of Dundee in 1996.

Annie’s research focusses on theory based, behaviourally focused, dietary and obesity (population and individual) interventions aimed at chronic disease risk reduction with a special interest in cancer prevention. She has undertaken a number of international and national roles including advisor to WHO International Agency for Research on the development of European Code Against Cancer, chair of the grant panel for The World Cancer Research Fund International and a member of UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). She co-directs the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network (@thescpn) – an advocacy group working for improved translation of evidence on cancer prevention into practice and policy on behalf of the Scottish Cancer Foundation.

Isobel Bandurek

Isobel is a UK-registered dietitian currently working at World Cancer Research Fund. There she works on the global evidence base for the role of nutrition and physical activity in cancer prevention and survivorship. This includes systematic reviews, working with panels of international experts, and the development of cancer prevention recommendations for individuals and policymakers.

Previously, Isobel worked with homeless young people in London with the charity Centrepoint. She delivered 1-to-1 and group interventions as well as health promotion activities. Her first roles as a dietitian were in the NHS, specialising in malnutrition.

Isobel also holds voluntary roles, including with the British Dietetic Association London Branch.

Isobel completed her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Oxford, and a Masters in nutrition and Postgraduate Diploma in dietetics at King’s College London.

Our chat schedule

We are doing things a little differently this month – we will be discussing three questions during the first 30 minutes and then opening the floor for a 30 minute live Q&A session with both Professor Anderson and Isobel Bandurek – so please take advantage of having your diet and cancer prevention questions answered by our guest experts! Please also feel free to provide answers during the live Q&A too. Tweet your questions and answers using #AskAfNutr

Join us on Tuesday 30th June, 8-9pm UK time to discuss the role of diet in cancer prevention. Our three questions are below. As always, when answering a particular question number your answer A1, A2 etc and use the hashtag #NutrCancerPrev in all tweets. For our live Q&A use the hashtag #AskAfNutr to direct your diet and cancer prevention questions to our expert guests. If time runs out, we will address any unanswered questions over the coming days.

Discuss chat questions below 8.00-8.30pm using #NutrCancerPrev

Live Q&A with our guest moderators 8.30-9.00pm using #AskAfNutr

Q1: What dietary factors are identified to be associated with increasing/decreasing cancer risk? Which of these have the strongest evidence for influencing cancer risk?

Q2: What role can nutritionists play in the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases? How can we ensure that this topic remains on everybody’s agenda?

Q3: With the media and internet full of cancer and diet scaremongering, it is important that fact is separated from fiction. What cancer myths have you come across? What is the evidence behind these headlines?

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