We are eating, drinking, smoking and tanning ourselves into oblivion. Research has shown that there has been an explosion in the number of Britons with skin cancer during the past decade - up by 43 per cent. There have also been sharp increases in other cancers linked to excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and obesity, such as kidney cancer - up by 14 per cent.
"Everyone can help reduce their risk of cancer by avoiding smoking, keeping a healthy weight, taking regular exercise and eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and fibre, " says Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of health information.
But it is possible to be more proactive than that.
"There are many practical ways you can improve your diet to prevent cancer and even reduce the size of some tumours, says leading organic chef and nutritionist Daphne Lambert. "Choosing organic ingredients is essential but it's little known that you can enhance cancer-fighting properties in some foods by cooking them a particular way." Medical studies have found that eating broccoli and tomato together can help fight prostate cancer, while lightly cooked shitake mushrooms can help reduce breast tumours. Apples inhibit liver tumours, fresh pineapple helps prevent leukaemia, and threeday-old broccoli sprouts have up to 50 times more anti-cancer fighting chemicals than fresh broccoli.
Here, Daphne has put together her own cancerbusting eating plan.
1. Broccoli in tomato sauce with garlic and basil When eaten together, broccoli and tomatoes help to reduce prostate tumours.
Serves 4 - 2 cloves garlic chopped 2 onions chopped Olive oil 2.5lb chopped tomatoes 1.5lb broccoli florets Large bunch of basil Soften garlic and onions in olive oil. Add the tomatoes and half a pint of vegetable stock; simmer for 45 minutes until thick. Blitz in a food processor, stir in torn up basil. Steam the broccoli. Do not overcook.
Toss the broccoli in the tomato sauce and serve. For a more substantial dish, you can also add wholewheat pasta.
2. Beetroot and tomato risotto The anti-cancer properties of allysulfides found in garlic are enhanced by selenium (brown rice) and carotenes (beets).
Serves 4 - 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 garlic cloves, chopped 2 onions, chopped 8oz (225g) brown risotto rice 16fl oz (450ml) vegetable stock 3 peeled beetroot, cubed 1lb (450g) ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped Salt and pepper Chopped parsley Heat oil with a little water. Add garlic and onion; cook for one minute. Add rice and stir well.
Add beetroot and stock.
Simmer with the lid on until the rice is tender, add more stock if needed. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for five minutes.
Garnish with parsley.
3. Sprouted lentil and avocado salad Lentils are rich in isoflavones which reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer.When sprouted, they are a good source of vitamin C. Avocados contain lutein, which protects against prostate cancer.
Serves 2 - 4oz (110g) sprouted green lentils 2 shallots, finely diced 1 clove garlic, finely diced Half a lemon, zest, juice 1 tablespoon olive oil 1inch piece ginger, grated Half a teaspoon cumin Half a teaspoon turmeric Salad leaves (rocket, garden cress, spinach, cos) 1 avocado Combine lentils, shallots and garlic in a bowl.
Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, turmeric and ginger together and pour over lentil mixture.
Divide the salad between two plates, pile the lentils on leaves, finely slice the avocado on top.
4. Baked mackerel fillet with green leaf salad and a citrus chilli dressing. Mackerel is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids which protect against breast and other cancers. Raw green leaves are a rich source of chlorophyll, a powerful healer.
Serves 4 - 4 mackerel fillets 2 tablespoons olive oil Half a lemon, juice, zest 1 clove garlic, chopped Watercress, lamb's lettuce, mint, fennel, flat leaf parsley Dressing: 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 4 tablespoons Mix olive oil, garlic and lemon.
Place mackerel on an oiled tray. Pour over the marinade.
Leave for 15 minutes. Divide leaves between four plates.
Blend dressing ingredients.
Bake the fish at 180C for 12 minutes. Place fillets on leaves and drizzle over the dressing.
5. Grilled sardines with lemon and garlic and wilted spinach salad. Eating onion and garlic appears to lower the risk of breast, oesophageal and stomach cancer.
Serves 2 - 6 sardines scaled, head and guts removed 2 cloves garlic, chopped Juice and zest of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon olive oil Flat leaf parsley 2 handfuls of spinach 6 tablespoons olive oil 2 garlic cloves, chopped 3 onions, finely chopped Salt and black pepper Place sardines in a grill dish.
Mix lemon, garlic and olive oil and pour over fish.
Marinade for 30 minutes, then grill for 10 minutes.
Roughly chop parsley and spinach.
Cook garlic and onions in the olive oil, toss in the green leaves and cook gently until they begin to soften and wilt.
Serve three sardines to each person with the salad on the side.
6. Chunky vegetable and white bean soup. A diet rich in vegetables and pulses reduces the risk of colon cancer. The fibre helps eliminate free radicals.
Serves 4 - 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, chopped 1 carrot, peeled and diced 2 sticks celery, diced 1 leek, trimmed and sliced 1 turnip, peeled and diced 1 teaspoon tomato puree 2 pints vegetable stock 1 14oz tin haricot beans 2oz broccoli florets 2oz shredded spinach Chopped parsley Over a low heat, soften the onion and garlic in the olive oil.
Add carrot, celery, leek and turnip; cook for two minutes.
Stir in the tomato puree, add the stock, bring to boil, simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the haricot beans and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the broccoli and spinach, cook for two minutes, season and serve with chopped parsley.
7. Broccoli sprout salad. Use three-day-old broccoli sprouts for their superior anti-cancer fighting chemicals.
Walnuts are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. All nuts are best eaten raw as cooking them is liable to damage the fatty acids.
Serves 2 - 2 handfuls of broccoli sprouts 1 bunch watercress 2 red peppers, seeded and cut into thick slices. 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and cut into thick slices 8 walnuts 2 tablespoons walnut oil 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.
Arrange the broccoli, watercress, peppers, avocado and walnuts in a bowl.
Mix the oil and vinegar together and drizzle over the salad.
Researchers from the International Journal of Epidemiology said that dietary fibre, particularly cereal fibre can help protect against the killer disease in younger women. Krisprolls contain 56% wholegrain cracked wheat, making them a perfect way to keep healthy.
The dietary fibre content of whole grains reduces the level of the hormone oestrogen in the body which has been linked to breast cancer. This explains why a fibre rich diet can cut the risk of breast cancer in younger women.
Krisprolls believe the key to a healthier, happier thinner you is following healthy balanced diet and feeling full on fewer calories the filling goodness philosophy. Foods such as Krisprolls are the best type of snack to eat as they are made from wholesome wholegrain cracked wheat, which is more steadily absorbed by the body, providing a good source of energy and will ensure that filling feeling lasts a bit longer than a quick sweet fix.