Certain oils should be avoided by cancer patients and the general public, as the fatty acids in these oils can stimulate inflammation, which drives the growth of cancer cells. Oils to avoid include corn oil, soybean oil, rapeseed (canola) oil, sunflower seed oil, peanut oil, cottonseed oil, and safflower oil. It’s important to note that some companies blend these oils with other oils, even olive oils, to increase volume and profitability. Purchasing from reputable sources is advisable.


Olive oil, particularly cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, is an excellent choice for cancer patients due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. A substance called oleocanthal in extra virgin olive oil has been shown to prevent cancer in rat studies. This is one reason the Mediterranean diet, rich in virgin olive oil and anticancer vegetables, is considered so beneficial. Coconut oil is another healthful option with anti-cancer effects, making it suitable for cooking.


For salads, olive oil and avocado oil are good choices due to their anti-cancer qualities. Additionally, ghee (clarified butter) is recommended for fighting cancer, as it increases butyric acid levels in the gastrointestinal tract, which can combat cancer cells. Regular butter is also acceptable for cancer patients, as it contains beta-carotene, which inhibits the BCL2 gene that protects tumor cells. Conversely, margarine should be avoided as it lacks beneficial properties.


Incorporating healthy cooking oils and dietary fats is an important part of cancer prevention and treatment. Choosing anti-inflammatory oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee can provide valuable cancer-fighting benefits.

Dr. Dana Flavin