Cancer prevention is defined as active measures to decrease the incidence of cancer.[36] Greater than 30% of cancer is preventable via avoiding risk factors including: tobacco, overweight or obesity, low fruit and vegetable intake, physical inactivity, alcohol, sexually transmitted infection, air pollution.[37] This can be accomplished by avoiding carcinogens or altering their metabolism, pursuing a lifestyle or diet that modifies cancer-causing factors and/or medical intervention (chemoprevention, treatment of pre-malignant lesions). The epidemiological concept of "prevention" is usually defined as either primary prevention, for people who have not been diagnosed with a particular disease, or secondary prevention, aimed at reducing recurrence or complications of a previously diagnosed illness.

But the EPIC study published in 2010, tracking the eating habits of 478,000 Europeans suggested that consuming lots of fruits and vegetables has little if any effect on preventing cancer.[38]

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