WebMD’s Chief Medical Officer Explains How to Prevent Most Cancers in New Book

Coming in October, Take Control of Your Cancer Risk, by John Whyte, MD busts the myths about cancer risk and outlines simple preventive steps

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New York, NY, September 8, 2021 – More than one million people in the U.S. receive a cancer diagnosis each year, and most believe that there is little they could have done to prevent it. That belief, however, is inaccurate.

Only about one in five cancers are genetically based, and an even smaller percentage are inherited.  As it turns out, cancer is largely a preventable disease.

“Although no cancer is 100% preventable, people do have control over many risk factors through their daily lifestyle choices,” said John Whyte, MD, a practicing physician, board-certified internist and Chief Medical Officer at WebMD. “I want to help people get out of their ‘nothing I can do’ mindset and begin the best cancer treatment of all:  Prevention.”

 In his new book, Take Control of Your Cancer Risk (Harper Horizon, Oct. 5, ISBN 9780785240402), Dr. Whyte sets out to bust the myths about cancer risk and explains how making simple changes, even just one at a time, can make a difference, including: treating food and herbs like prescription medicine; knowing how best to exercise (hint:  it has nothing to do with walking 10,000 steps a day); getting quality sleep, and how to manage stress and harmful inflammation.

“The good news is, preventive steps are simple and straightforward (notice I did not say ‘easy’!),” says Dr. Whyte, “but my hope is that this book will open people’s eyes to all they can do to prevent cancer, and give them the tools and strategies they need to become their own health advocate and create their own personal cancer prevention program.”

Take Control of Your Cancer Risk is available now for preorder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and everywhere books are sold.


John Whyte, MD, MPH, is a popular physician and writer who has been communicating to the public about health issues for nearly two decades.

In his role as chief medical officer of WebMD, Whyte leads efforts to develop and expand strategic partnerships that create meaningful change around important and timely public health issues. Prior to WebMD, Whyte served as the director of professional affairs and stakeholder engagement at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Whyte worked with health care professionals, patients, and patient advocates, providing them with a focal point for advocacy, enhanced two-way communication, and collaboration, assisting them in navigating the FDA on issues concerning drug development, review, and drug safety. He also developed numerous initiatives to address diversity in clinical trials.

Prior to this, Whyte worked for nearly a decade as the chief medical expert and vice president, health and medical education, at Discovery Channel, the leading nonfiction television network. In this role, Whyte developed, designed, and delivered educational programming that appealed to both a medical and lay audience. This included television shows as well as online content that won over 50 awards, including numerous Tellys, CINE Golden Eagle, and Freddies.

Whyte is a board-certified internist. He completed an internal medicine residency at Duke University Medical Center and earned a Master of Public Health in health policy and management at Harvard University School of Public Health. Prior to arriving in Washington, DC, Whyte was a health services research fellow at Stanford and attending physician in the department of medicine.

About WebMD

WebMD Health Corp., an Internet Brands Company, is the leading provider of health information services, serving patients, physicians, health care professionals, employers, health plans and health systems through public and private online portals, mobile platforms, and health-focused publications. The WebMD Health Network includes WebMD Health, Medscape, Jobson Healthcare Information, MediQuality, Frontline, Vitals Consumer Services, Aptus Health, Krames, PulsePoint, The Wellness Network, MedicineNet, eMedicineHealth, RxList, OnHealth, Medscape Education, and other owned WebMD sites. WebMD®, Medscape®, CME Circle®, Medpulse®, eMedicine®, MedicineNet®, ®, and RxList® are among the trademarks of WebMD Health Corp. or its subsidiaries.