Women standing by a lake

Reduce your risk

There's a lot you can do to reduce your risk of cancer – starting with living a healthy, active lifestyle. 

Can cancer be prevented?

About 4 in 10 cancer cases can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the health of Canadians. The good news is you can reduce your risk of cancer right now. There’s no time like the present to start making positive lifestyle changes to feel better and live longer.

Make healthy choices

There's a lot you can do to reduce your risk of cancer – starting with living a healthy, active lifestyle. Making healthy choices can be easy, affordable and quick. You can take small but important steps to stay on the path of great health no matter what age you are. We're proud to present simple ways to reduce your risk of cancer.
No smoking symbol

Live smoke-free

The single most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer is to live smoke-free.
Bottle of sunscreen in someone’s hand

Be sun safe

Enjoy the sun safely – protect your skin and protect your eyes.
Two feet standing on a scale

Have a healthy body weight

Besides living smoke-free, having a healthy body weight is one of the best things you can do to reduce cancer risk.
Variety of healthy foods

 Eat well

Eating well is an important part of reducing your cancer risk.
A bicycle

Move more, sit less

Not enough physical activity and too much sitting increases your cancer risk. Aim for 30 minutes of activity every day and take frequent, short breaks from sitting.
A wine bottle and glasses of different types of alcohol

Limit alcohol

Drinking any type or amount of alcohol increases your risk of developing cancer. The less alcohol you drink, the more you reduce your risk.

How many cancers can be prevented?

Did you know that about 4 in 10 cancer cases in Canada can be prevented? It’s true. There are things we eat, drink, breathe and do that affect our cancer risk. 

The ComPARe (Canadian Population Attributable Risk of Cancer) study found how many cancer cases we can prevent in the future by changing the world around us. This includes making healthy choices and protecting ourselves where we live, work and play. 

If we act now, we can prevent thousands of cancer cases by the year 2042. It’s all about understanding what the risks are and taking action to protect ourselves in our everyday lives. We can reduce our exposure to cancer risk factors by changing the world around us.

Make informed decisions

Follow these recommendations and help reduce your cancer risk.
A gene

Check your family history

Tell your doctor if any of your close relatives have ever been diagnosed with cancer.
Person holding a pack of birth control pills

Understand hormones

The birth control pill and hormone replacement therapy may increase your risk of cancer. Understand the risks and benefits.
A syringe

Get vaccinated

Some viruses cause cancer. Check with your doctor about whether a hepatitis B or HPV vaccine is a good idea for you.
First-aid kit

Be safe at work

Cancer-causing substances at work are responsible for a small percentage of cancers. Know your risk and protect yourself.
A radon testing device

Know your environment

Learn how to reduce your exposure to cancer-causing substances (carcinogens).
Person sitting and thinking about a question they have

Myths and controversies

Be cautious of any information obtained from unmonitored sources.
Children running in front of their parents on a trail in the woods.

Discover our prevention programs

We recognize that making healthy behaviour changes can be difficult to achieve alone, that’s why we’re here to help. We have smoking cessation and health promotion programs for individuals, schools and workplaces.  
Children running in front of their parents on a trail in the woods.
It's My Life! tool
Try our helpful tools

It's My Life!

It’s My Life! is an interactive, evidence-based tool. It teaches you how 16 factors affect your risk of getting cancer and how you can reduce your risk by making simple changes. 
It's My Life! tool

Try our helpful tools

A sun safety activity for kids

SunSense fortune teller

The fortune teller is a fun resource for primary school age children that uses origami to create a trivia game with questions about SunSense practices. Instructions on how to assemble it are included.
Child eating watermelon

Monthly tips

Want to reduce your risk of cancer, but don’t know where to start? We have 12 monthly suggestions with simple tips for each one to help you reduce your risk.
Two people hugging

One Step at a Time: You Can Quit

This booklet is for people who smoke and may or may not be ready to quit.