Certain cancers may be avoided and general health improved if you adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Any recommendation made to reduce cancer occurrence should not be one which could lead to an increased risk of other diseases. The recommendations which comprise the revised European Code Against Cancer should, if followed, also lead to improvements in other aspects of general health. It is also important to recognise from the outset that each individual has choices to make about their lifestyle some of which could lead to a reduction in their risk of developing cancer. These choices, and the rationale underlying their recommendation, are presented below.
European Code against Cancer and scientific justification: third version (2003)
Many aspects of general health can be improved, and certain cancers avoided, if you adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Do not smoke; if you smoke, stop doing so. If you fail to stop, do not smoke in the presence of non-smokers View
Avoid Obesity View
Undertake some brisk, physical activity every day View
Increase your daily intake and variety of vegetables and fruits: eat at least five servings daily. Limit your intake of foods containing fats from animal sources View
If you drink alcohol, whether beer, wine or spirits, moderate your consumption to two drinks per day if you are a man and one drink per day if you are a woman View
Care must be taken to avoid excessive sun exposure. It is specifically important to protect children and adolescents. For individuals who have a tendency to burn in the sun active protective measures must be taken throughout life View
Apply strictly regulations aimed at preventing any exposure to known cancercausing substances. Follow all health and safety instructions on substances which may cause cancer. Follow advice of national radiation protection offices View
There are public health programmes that could prevent cancers developing or increase the probability that a cancer may be cured
Women from 25 years of age should participate in cervical screening.This should be within programmes with quality control procedures in compliance with European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Cervical Screening View
Women from 50 years of age should participate in breast screening. This should be within programmes with quality control procedures in compliance with European Union Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Mammography Screening View
Men and women from 50 years of age should participate in colorectal screening. This should be within programmes with built-in quality assurance procedures View
Participate in vaccination programmes against Hepatitis B Virus infection View