It has been estimated that more than 30% of cancers are related to diet and are hence potentially preventable; the estimated contribution of diet varies from around 10% for lung cancer to 80% for cancer of the prostate and large bowel. Many dietary items have been suggested as promoting or preventing cancer, but evidence for only a few specific relationships has been found. The primary aim of the international EPIC study was to examine the relationships between what people have reported as their dietary intake and incident cancers; that is, cancers which have developed after they joined the study. This has now broadened to include lifestyle and genetic factors and other diseases.
A secondary aim is to study the relationship between dietary intake and other diseases and disease risk factors. In EPIC-Norfolk, these include heart attacks and strokes, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease and many others. We are also studying the link between disease and other factors, such as psychosocial health. Some of this work on different diseases and factors is carried out with colleagues from other institutions, and is described on our Collaborators' page.