European Cancer Organisation

NEWS: European Code against Cancer - 12 ways to reduce your cancer risk

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), has just launched the new European Code Against Cancer with the participation of the European Commission. Based on the latest science, the Code provides 12 ways to help people adopt healthier lifestyles and to boost cancer prevention across Europe.

12 ways to reduce your cancer risk

  1. Do not smoke. Do not use any form of tobacco.
  2. Make your home smoke free. Support smoke-free policies in your workplace.
  3. Take action to be a healthy body weight.
  4. Be physically active in everyday life. Limit the time you spend sitting.
  5. 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.
  6. If you drink alcohol of any type, limit your intake. Not drinking alcohol is better for cancer prevention.
  7. Avoid too much sun, especially for children. Use sun protection. Do not use sunbeds.
  8. In the workplace, protect yourself against cancer-causing substances by following health and safety instructions.
  9. Find out if you are exposed to radiation from naturally high radon levels in your home. Take action to reduce high radon levels.
  10. For women:
    Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s cancer risk. If you can, breastfeed your baby
    Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases the risk of certain cancers
    Limit use of HRT
  11. Ensure your children take part in vaccination programmes for:
    Hepatitis B (for newborns)
    Human papillomavirus (HPV) (for girls)
  12. Take part in organized cancer screening programmes for:
    Bowel cancer (men and women)
    Breast cancer (women)
    Cervical cancer (women)

The European Code Against Cancer focuses on actions that individual citizens can take to help prevent cancer. Successful cancer prevention requires these individual actions to be supported by governmental policies and actions. Find out more about the European Code Against Cancer at:

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