(HealthDay News) — Greater adherence to global recommendations for cancer prevention is associated with a lower risk of breast, colorectal, and lung cancers, according to a study published in Cancer.

Researchers conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies examining cancer risk and adherence to the 2018 World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/ACIR) Cancer Prevention Recommendations. The recommendations largely focus on diet but also mention exercise and other lifestyle considerations.

The researchers found that, across all 18 studies analyzed, the cancer risk was 27% lower in participants with the greatest adherence to the recommendations. In a continuous meta-analysis of all studies, the cancer risk was reduced by 10% for each 1-point increment in adherence score.

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The summary risk ratio per 1-point increment in adherence score was 0.89 (I² = 76.5%; 7 studies) for breast cancer, 0.88 (I² = 26.2%; 4 studies) for colorectal cancer, and 0.92 (I² = 66.0%; 2 studies) for lung cancer. For prostate and other cancers, there were no significant associations.

“[T]he findings from this systematic review and meta-analysis provide strong evidence that adherence to the 2018 WCRF/AICR Cancer Prevention Recommendations reduces the risk of any cancer as well as the risk of breast, colorectal, and lung cancers,” the researchers concluded.

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