Cancer Prevention

Cancer Prevention

Reducing risk of cancer information

More than 1 in 2 people in Ireland will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. Not all cancers can be prevented but there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing cancer. To lower your chance of developing cancer:

  • do not smoke
  • manage your weight
  • take part in vaccination programmes and cancer screening
  • limit alcohol
  • protect your skin from the sun and do not use sunbeds
  • reduce your risk of radon in your home
  • eat well
  • talk to your GP about your hormonal therapy
  • be active
  • follow health and safety rules at work to avoid cancer-causing substances
  • breastfeed if you can

If you have a cancer diagnosis talk to your care team about what is right for you.

Read more about how to reduce risk of cancer at


The HSE National Cancer Control Programme provides a free e-learning programme on ‘Reducing Cancer Risk’ for health and social care professionals.  The programme consists of 11 short course modules on modifiable cancer risk factors. The modules take 10-15mins to complete and cover

  • How the modifiable risk factor affects cancer risk
  • What cancers are related to the risk factor
  • Cancer risk reduction advice
  • Signposts to supports and further trusted sources of information.

All modules are available on HSeLand. The modules cover tobacco, alcohol, skin protection, body weight, healthy eating, physical activity, radon, screening, HRT, oral contraceptives, breastfeeding, vaccinations and workplace carcinogens.

Visit and search for ‘Reducing Cancer Risk’ to access the modules.

Watch a video explaining the 'Reducing Cancer Risk' eLearning programme


Printed resources

If you wish to order printed resources please visit .Choose 'cancer' on the drop down menu to browse cancer prevention resources.  


Visit the NCCP youtube page to watch previous webinars, including

Cancer Prevention Awareness Days Calendar

Download the NCCP Cancer Prevention Awareness Day calendar to plan your cancer awareness activity. 


National Survey on Cancer Awareness and Attitudes

The HSE National Cancer Control Programme published the first National Survey on Cancer Awareness and Attitudes in September 2022. The research survey was conducted amongst a representative sample of 2,874 adults aged 18 and over living in Ireland.

Findings suggest  that there is strong  awareness amongst the general adult population of  the potential for certain risk behaviours to cause cancer, especially those related to tobacco smoking and sun exposure. There are lower levels of recognition of cancer risk associated with alcohol consumption, dietary factors, physical activity, body weight, breast feeding, and factors related to ‘health conditions, medicines and treatment’.

This data can help inform the development of effective cancer prevention initiatives and facilitate monitoring of theirimpact. Download the report or watch a presentation on findings by clicking on the links below

The Irish Cancer Prevention Network  

The Irish Cancer Prevention Network (ICPN) aims to reduce cancer risk for the people of Ireland.

The ICPN consists of

  • HSE National Cancer Control Programme
  • Breakthrough Cancer Research
  • The Marie Keating Foundation
  • HSE National Screening Service
  • Irish Cancer Society.

The ICPN supports and collaborates on cancer risk reduction initiatives.

The ICPN publishes a quarterly ezine, sharing cancer prevention facts and initiatives.

Visit to view past issues and to subscribe. 

For more information you can