The European Code Against Cancer focuses on actions that individuals can take to reduce their risk of developing cancer. It lists 12 actions that will make a significant difference to a person’s health and longevity:
- Do not smoke. Do not use any form of tobacco.
- Make your home smoke free. Support smoke-free policies in your workplace.
- Take action to be a healthy body weight.
- Be physically active in everyday life. Limit the time you spend sitting
- Have a healthy diet: eat plenty of whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits; limit high-calorie foods (foods high in sugar or fat) and avoid sugary drinks; avoid processed meat; limit red meat and foods high in salt.
- If you drink alcohol of any type, limit your intake. Not drinking alcohol is better for cancer prevention.
- Avoid too much sun, especially for children. Use sun protection. Do not use sunbeds.
- In the workplace, protect yourself against cancer-causing substances by following health and safety instructions.
- Find out if you are exposed to radiation from naturally high radon levels in your home. Take action to reduce high radon levels.
- For women: Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s cancer risk so if you can, breastfeed your baby; Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases the risk of certain cancers so limit use of HRT.
- Ensure your children take part in vaccination programmes for Hepatitis B (for newborns) and Human papillomavirus (HPV) (for girls).
- Take part in organised cancer screening programmes for:
- Bowel cancer (men and women)
- Breast cancer (women)
- Cervical cancer (women).
Print the full Code against Cancer from the cancer-code-europe.iarc.fr website