Evidence on the impact of diet, alcohol, body-mass index (BMI), and physical activity on mortality due to cancer and other cancer-related outcomes is still scarce. Herein, we reviewed the contribution of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study to the current state of the art on the role of these factors in cancer mortality. We identified 45 studies using a rapid systematic review methodology. Dietary factors associated with reduced cancer mortality included raw vegetable intake; dietary fiber intake; the Mediterranean diet; other dietary scores; other diet patterns including low meat eaters, vegetarians/vegans, or fish eaters; dietary intake (or biomarkers) of some vitamins (e.g., vitamin D, vitamin K2, or Vitamin C); and intake of lignans. Physical activity and following healthy lifestyle recommendations also reduced cancer mortality risk. In contrast, dietary factors associated with higher cancer mortality risk included poor diet quality, consumption of alcohol and soft drinks including juice, and, to a lesser extent, intake of some fatty acids. Excess weight and obesity also increased the risk of cancer mortality. The EPIC study holds valuable information on diet and lifestyle factors and offers a unique opportunity to identify key diet-related factors for cancer mortality prevention.
Keywords: cancer; diet; mortality; nutrition; obesity; physical activity; prevention.