12 ways to reduce your cancer risk.

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