Cut your cancer risk in half

Doctor looking at scan pictures on a computer screen

Making the correct lifestyle choices everyday can decrease your chances of getting cancer.

Stories about cancer and its causes are very common in the media. But the messages in these stories can sometimes be confusing. We separate fact from fiction, and show you how it really is possible to reduce your risk of cancer by as much as 50% through positive steps for healthy living.

By doing so, you will also protect yourself against other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes and improve your overall wellbeing. In this way, we hope you will go on to enjoy a long, happy and healthy life. And remember: start slowly. Small steps can add up to big changes but habits tend to build up gradually. We promise you it will be worth the effort.

6 steps to cut your cancer risk in half

To cut your cancer risk in half and stay well, there are six steps you can take. No matter when you start, from childhood to old age, you will begin to be healthier and reduce your cancer risk:

  1. Stop Smoking.
  2. Keep a healthy weight.
  3. Eat smarter.
  4. Be active.
  5. Limit alcohol.
  6. Be safe in the sun.

In Ireland and in Europe about 1 in 3 people will develop cancer at some stage in their life. The great news is that due to better treatments and picking up cancer earlier, more and more people are surviving cancer.

The EU Code Against Cancer sums up the steps you can take to protect yourself against cancer, and to find cancer early:

  • If you smoke, plan to quit.
  • Eat at least five servings a day of a variety of fruit and vegetables.
  • Limit your intake of fatty foods.
  • If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to no more than two standard drinks per day for men and one standard drink per day for women.
  • Do brisk physical activity every day.
  • Be a healthy weight.
  • Protect yourself in the sun and avoid sunburn, especially in children.

See your doctor

  • If you notice a lump, a sore that does not heal, a mole that changes in shape, size or colour or bleeds in unusual circumstances.
  • If you have ongoing problems, such as a cough or hoarseness, a change in bowel or bladder habit, or unexplained weight loss.

See our infographic on the 12 ways you can reduce your risk of cancer based on the European Code Against Cancer.

Infographic: 12 ways to reduce your cancer risk

For more information

Icon: Phone


1800 200 700

Icon: Email