Reduce your Cancer Risk

Reduce your Risk of Cancer 

YES, you can reduce your risk cancer. In Ireland over 30,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed each year, one third of cancers can be prevented through lifestyle. 

What can you do to reduce your cancer risk?

  • Stay a healthy weight, being overweight is linked to 11 cancers. Check your weight. 
  • Physical activity protects against cancer. Move more, sit less
  • Alcohol causes 7 types of cancers. Go to to learn more.
  • Smoking causes cancers. Go to or call 1800 201 203 for support to quit.
  • Be smart in the sun to protect against skin cancer. Slap on a hat, slide on sunglasses and slop on suncream of at least 30SPF
  • Do not use sunbeds. Sunbeds cause skin cancer. 
  • Maintain a balanced diet, food is to be enjoyed; 
                  • Eat at least 5 portions of vegetables and/or fruit each day 
                  • Check food labels and keep salt below 6g per day 
                  • Keep red meat to less than 18oz per week (3 oz. meat of cooked meat looks like the size of of the palm of your hand)
                  • Avoid processed meat
  • Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s cancer risk. If you can, breastfeed your baby.
  • Limit use of HRT. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases the risk of certain cancers. 
  • Take part in vaccination programmes to protect your children 
                  • Hepatitis B (for newborns) 
                  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) (for girls).
  • Attend your cancer screening programmes for:
                  • Bowel cancer (men and women)
                  • Breast cancer (women)
                  • Cervical cancer (women).

The European Code for Cancer Prevention highlights “12 Ways to Reduce your Cancer Risk”

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland, with over 10,000 new cases diagnosed in Ireland each year. Skin Cancer can be prevented. too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays is the main cause of skin cancer. You should never use a sunbed. Using a sunbed causes melanoma skin cancer- which is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Be Sunsmart and protect yourself by following the sunsmart code;

  • Seek shade between 11am -3pm
  • Slip on loose fitting clothes to cover skin from sun
  • Slap on a wide brimmed hat
  • Slop on water-resistant sunscreen of SPF 30+
  • Slide on sunglasses
  • Never use a sunbed

Further Information & Support

Cancer Prevention;World Cancer Research Fund / Irish Cancer Society
Diet and Weight;Safefood / Healthy Ireland 
Physical Activity;Get Ireland Active