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Wageningen University

Nutrition and Cancer

Wageningen University via edX


Can cancer risk be reduced through a healthy diet or lifestyle? Many studies have been conducted on the role of nutrition and physical activity in cancer prevention. This has resulted in recommendations for cancer prevention. Far less research is conducted on nutrition and cancer progression, but the evidence is increasing that a healthy diet may also play a beneficial role for cancer survivors. Join this online course and learn more about the role of nutrition in the occurrence and progression of cancer. You will learn how nutrition is involved in cancer occurrence, cancer treatment, and progression. And you will discover what the evidence-base is for dietary guidelines.

This online course focuses on a wide range of dietary exposures (including vegetables, meat, dietary supplements, alcohol) and lifestyle factors (including body composition and physical activity) in relation to the occurrence and progression of the most common types of cancer, such as large bowel cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer.

For whom?

Dieticians and physicians often get questions from cancer patients about what they can do themselves to help their recovery process. After completing the course you will have gained a solid scientific basis to better weigh and interpret all the information available on nutrition and cancer and to take care of your own health and/or that of your patients.

This online course is especially valuable for professionals (in training) from various fields related to nutrition or cancer (e.g. nutritionists, epidemiologists, health policy makers, physicians, caregivers, nutrition educators, biologists and food scientists).

This course, is part of theNutrition and Disease Professional Certificate Program of Wageningen University & Research. Did you already complete Nutrition, Heart Disease and Diabetes? That is the other course in this Professional Certificate Program.


Module 1
Start with an introduction to the relation between nutrition and cancer development and progression, and discuss the different types of research designs by which this relation is studied.

Module 2
Discuss dietary and lifestyle risk factors related to cancer occurrence, by outlining the current WCRF/IARC evidence-based recommendations for cancer prevention.

Module 3
Learn about the interaction between nutrition and genes, and how this can influence cancer occurrence.

Module 4
Learn about the importance of dietary and lifestyle guidelines for the increasing group of cancer survivors.

Module 5
In this module you will learn about the adherence to guidelines and how important it is to have a clear and correct communication to the public. (This module is only accessible to verified learners.)

Taught by

Ellen Kampman, Fränzel van Duijnhoven and Dieuwertje Kok


4.4 rating, based on 264 reviews

Start your review of Nutrition and Cancer

  • Not as extensive or carefully edited as the Cardiometabolic Disease class but still solid and full of compelling information.
  • You will learn about the Wold Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) recommendations for cancer prevention, the types of research in cancer and nutrition. There is additional learning in critically analysing media communication around nutrition and cancer. I did this course for personal growth as a cancer survivor - highly recommend!
  • Brilliant course, logical, interesting and assessments are good. Two of the video's glitched and took longer to play but that may have been my end? Thank you for such an interesting, research based and practical how to course.
  • Anonymous
    This course is very informative with the latest updates related to Nutrition and cancer and is a good learning experience as an online course. The lectures through videos with the script on the side is very useful in understanding the concepts explained,...
  • I had a good time learning with the course. The course contents are well-organized into different modules, each of which deals with a particular theme relevant to the discussion about nutrition and cancer. It breaks down esoteric concepts into smaller...
  • Anonymous
    I appreciate all the helpful and interesting information taught in this course. Learning official guidelines from world organizations has been enlightening. I look forward to feeling equipped and joining the community of people working to make a difference...
  • Anonymous
    To be honest, it is a disappointment. The title suggest that the course is about link between nutrition and cancer, but so far it is about that there is no evidence of nutrition and cancer. Better course name would be: future challenges studying nutrition...
  • Anonymous
    The experience in taking part in this course has been awesome. Name like Prof. Ellen Kampman and Prof. Sanders Kersten, among others, will remain a household name in my practice. I have a burning desire to gain professional control over the growing syndemic...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    This course is good but it should have a more information about what's to do with patients to give them a good advice about what they sohled eat , I want to know many examples about this and also this course does not have a practical part.
  • Anonymous
    I just finished Nutrition, diabetes and heart disease as part of the Nutrition and Disease Professional certificate. I found that course to be more specific and detailed with much useful information and tips to practically apply. The lack of research...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I enjoyed the class very much but COVID-19 occurred and our Governor grounded/locked down the state. I live in a very rural area and had multiple relays before the signal got to me. My ISP said that all the bandwidth was used before it got to me because I was at the end of the line. This led to me waiting 5 minutes to 5 hours for a page to download. That was not conducive to watching the videos. When the lockdown was lifted I had missed one of the deadlines and had lost much of my enthusiasm. I wish I could have finished on a timely basis. I probably would have enjoyed it more...
  • Anonymous
    It was indeed a very nice, informative course. Many new things about development and increased risk of development of cancer revealed. This will definitely help us to improve our and our family members lifestyle. It will also help me to counsel my patients. This course specifically en lighted my knowledge about cancer survival and positive approach to the same. I feel everyone if possible should do this course, which will definitely help and encourage them to improve their lifestyle, and their attitude towards cancer. Very happy to have this knowledge, backed with evidences and studies.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    Nutrition and cancer is a general course. It creates awareness about the importance and difficulties of nutrition in the process of cancer formation and treatment. The interaction of nutrition with genetic and epigenetic factors in cancer patients is...
  • Anonymous
    Thank you for this course. While watching the umbrella analogy in the diet gene interactions class, I enjoyed and understood the subject. Thanks to an interview with someone with cancer, I understood what difficulties they had. Since I am a student in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, I think this information will be very useful for me in the future, because when talking about taste disorders in the lessons, he never thought it would be like this.
  • Anonymous
    The guildines I learnt from the World Cancer Research Fund are like my life saving stars. They are so helpful not only to me, but I like to communicate them to members of my family as well as to my friends. I also like them to take this course if they...
  • Anonymous
    love the engaging video tutorial and how the professors explain the topic in a simple ways that general public can comprehend. Ie the umbrella example was brilliant.
    Its also great to have the guest speaker, such as the nurse that was/ is diagnosed with cancer. we often don't hear what the reality is for the patients, so that was a great insight to make us more sensitive and aware.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed the time I had been spending taking this course. The course have amazing, intersting and uptodated materials and resources. The videos, readings and questions were all very useful. Also discussions opened windows for new ideas. Peer review assessments were very helpful. Overall, I enjoyed this experience and I would recommend it to anybody interested in the topic
  • Anonymous
    Very educational for general public and professionals.
    Wondering if possible the reading materials are readily accessible online in PDF including texts and referenced journal articles.
    Is there a page just for contents/Chapters/ Modules; I could easily jump from one section to another section without clicking back and forward all the time.
    Overall great course. Many thanks.
  • Anonymous
    Well, i think this MOOC it´s useful for people that want a general idea of Nutrition and Cancer. I like the information of this MOOC, especially module 1. But i was expecting learn more about the atention of this patients in nutrition or more information about epigenetics. So, i enjoy this MOOC and i like it, but i would have liked to learn more...
  • Anonymous
    Overall the course content is good. Particularly strong on questions of study design. I would have liked more detail on specific study outcomes — but I suppose that is available in the WCRF publications.

    One or two of the review questions are incorrectly answered within the system, meaning that a "right" answer is marked as "wrong", and vice-versa.

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