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September 20, 1985

Diet and Cancer

JAMA. 1985;254(11):1520. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360110116039

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


We are what we eat—and whether we get cancer may depend on what we eat. That is the message of this book.

A brief review of the epidemiology of cancer and carcinogenesis is followed by a detailed report on what is known about the relationships between consumption of the various constituents of food and the incidence of various sites of primary cancers. The author recognizes and comments on the problems of determining what people have eaten throughout their lives. He calls attention to other techniques of nutrition evaluation, such as anthropomorphic measurements and biochemical tests.

The chapters on the relationship between protein and caloric intake, dietary fiber, fats, vitamins, and minerals are particularly thorough, with many references to the medical literature. There is a complete review of what is known about the carcinogenicity of alcohol and coffee.

There is a final section on dietary recommendations to prevent cancer, which should