Top 7 Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Cancer

1. Don’t smoke

The smoke from cigarettes or cigars can increase the risk of many types of cancer. There is no safe amount of smoking and no safe type of tobacco product.

Note: In Ontario, it is illegal to smoke in a car with passengers under 16 years old. You can be fined up to $250.

2. Be a healthy weight

Being overweight can increase your risk of many types of cancer. As a family, make healthy changes to help everyone get to and stay at a healthy weight.

3. Eat a healthy diet

Eating lots of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, and dairy products or fortified dairy alternatives can help to reduce your risk of some types of cancer.

4. Be active every day

You may know that being physically active strengthens your heart, lungs and muscles. But did you know that being active can also help to reduce the risk of developing many types of cancer?

5. Avoid drinking alcohol

Alcohol can increase the risk of several different types of cancer. If you drink alcohol, try to drink as little as possible.

  • If you are worried about your drinking or the drinking of someone you know, call the free Ontario Drug and Alcohol Helpline at 1-800-565-8603 or go to

6. Protect yourself from the sun

Too much sun can damage the skin and lead to skin cancer. People of all skin types (fair or dark) and all ages need to protect themselves by staying in the shade and wearing hats, long-sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts, sunglasses and sunscreen.

7. Protect yourself from disease

Different vaccinations or immunizations are available to prevent disease. In Ontario, girls in grade 8 are offered free human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations at school to protect them from developing cancer of the cervix later in life. There are also programs to screen (i.e. test) adults for colorectal, cervical and breast cancer.

Last updated: September 22, 2016 4001658