Facebook Twitter Instagram You Tube Pinterest LinkedIn RSS Podcasts Video Library Blog
 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Cancer Risk Reduction

A Note on Recent Research

News on television and the Internet, and in newspapers and magazines, is full of reports about foods, dietary supplements and other substances that may reduce the risk of cancer. Since different studies often report conflicting results, individuals continue to be best served by discussion of their health concerns with their physicians, dietitians, and related medical professionals. The pace of research in the areas of genetics, molecular biology, and nutrition science is staggering. Staff in the Health Learning Centers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital can perform specialized research that will help you learn about the latest studies regarding diet, cancer risk reduction, and related health topics.

Research and lifestyle change pay off. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as one third of all cancer cases are preventable. The resources found here will help you learn how you can reduce your risk.

Internet Resources

Cancer Causes and Risk Factors
Web site includes very helpful definitions and the most current information regarding what is known scientifically about various risks for cancer. The site is interactive throughout, encouraging users to test themselves and to use various risk assessment tools that are provided.

American Cancer Society: Cancer Prevention
A respected not-for-profit organization, the American Cancer Society makes outstanding resources available to patients, families and caregivers.

CDC: Cancer Prevention and Control
This resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a greatly expanded Cáncer in español section.

Mayo Clinic: Cancer Prevention
Basic information about healthy choices and how they help reduce risk for specific types of cancer.

National Cancer Institute: Division of Cancer Prevention
Site contains specific information about risk reduction and lifestyle that can reduce risk for many types of cancer. Prevention trials are also available here.

MedlinePlus: Cancer (General)
Developed by the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the lay public. Look for links to familiar places like the National Institutes of Health.

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Contains information about the many services offered by the Lurie Cancer Center, one of thirteen founding members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).

World Health Organization: Cancer Prevention
Information here emphasizes public health strategies for reducing the burden of cancer throughout the world.


  • American Cancer Society’s complete guide to colorectal cancer. Levin B, ed. 2006.
  • American Cancer Society’s healthy eating cookbook: a celebration of food, friends, and healthy living. American Cancer Society. 2003.
  • Anticancer: a new way of life. Servan-Schreiber, D. 2008.
  • Cancer prevention: Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer 2. v. 1: 206-208. Longe J. ed. 2010. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or electronically at http://www.nmh.org/nmh/hlc/main.htm.
  • Cancer sourcebook for women. Sutton AL, ed. 2006.
  • Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. American Institute for Cancer Research, 2007. (A booklet summarizing findings is also available.)

Journal Articles

Reducing Your Risk for Cancer Generally

  • “Considerable Health Benefits of Fiber.” Duke Medicine Health News. 16(6):6. October 2010.
  • “New Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise. Appears to Block Tumor Growth in Some Cases of Advanced Cancer.” Duke Medicine Health News. 16(10):4–5. October 2010.
  • “Physical Activity Decreases Cancer Risk.” Health News. 14(5):9–10. May 2008.
  • “Ten Commandments of Cancer Prevention.” Harvard Men’s Health Watch. 13(9):5–6. April 2009.
  • “Trigger Found That May Start Cancer’s Spread.” Duke Medicine Health News. 16(5):1–2. May 2010.
  • “What’s So Great about Fiber?” Johns Hopkins Medical Letter, Health after 50. 23(3):1–2, 7. May 2011.

Reducing Your Risk for Breast Cancer

  • “Advances in Breast Imaging.” Harvard Women’s Health Watch. 17(9):1–3. May 2010.
  • “Breast Cancer: Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment.” Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Suppl:1–8. June 2009.
  • “Hormone Therapy: The Next Chapter.” Harvard Women’s Health Watch. 18(7):1–3. March 2011.

Reducing Your Risk for Prostate Cancer

  • “Consultation Corner: Prostate Cancer Vaccine Offers New Directions.” Johns Hopkins Medical Letter, Health after 50. 22(7):6–7. September 2010.
  • “Finasteride to Prevent Prostate Cancer: A New Chapter.” Harvard Men’s Health Watch. 13(11):1–4. June 2009.
  • “Food for Thought: Tomatoes, Broccoli, and Prostate Cancer.” Harvard Men’s Health Watch. 13(5):7. December 2008.
  • “Selenium for Prostate Cancer Prevention.” Harvard Health Letter. 34(3):7. January 2009.
  • “Statins and Prostate Cancer.” Harvard Men’s Health Watch. 13(10):6–7. May 2009.

Reducing Your Risk for Other Cancers

  • “Bladder Cancer: Men at Risk.” Harvard Men’s Health Watch. 15(9):1–5. April 2011.
  • “Colon Cancer Screening: New Guidelines Offer More Options.” Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. 12(8):4–5. August 2008.
  • “Non-melanoma Skins Cancer May Raise Your Risk of Other Malignancies. Pay Attention If You Have Had Skin Cancers; They Could Be a Sign of Increased Risk.” Duke Medicine Health News. 15(1):3–4. January 2009.
  • “Ovarian Cancer. A Look at Common Myths and Facts.” Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. 13(9):1–2. September 2009.
  • “Protecting Yourself against Melanoma.” Johns Hopkins Medical Letter, Health after 50. 21(5):6–7. July 2009.


Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Alberto Culver Health Learning Center and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University have joined forces to provide the Chicago community with an opportunity to receive education about cancer risk reduction. Topics include nutrition, physical activity, weight management, smoking cessation, sun protection, and early detection.



Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Alberto Culver Health Learning Center at 312-926-5465, or e-mail us at HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateJanuary 6, 2014