In 2010, approximately 6,200 Nova Scotians heard the words “You have cancer” – words that nobody wants to hear. But is there really anything that can be done to reduce the chances of getting cancer? The answer is YES! There is strong evidence that as many as 50 per cent of cancers can be prevented.
Preventing cancer doesn’t mean that it can be eliminated – but rather that the cancer process can be slowed down, the development of cancer can be delayed and there are fewer people overall who get cancer. Preventing cancer means stopping it before it appears by taking action on known risk factors.
It is estimated that about one third of cases of the most common cancers can be prevented through healthy food choices, regular physical activity and a healthy body weight. An additional one third of all cases of cancer can be prevented by choosing not to smoke and avoiding exposure to second hand smoke.
The choices that we make, healthy or otherwise, are influenced by many things – some within our individual control – and some not. In the end, preventing cancer and “keeping Nova Scotians healthy” is everybody’s business. Members of families and communities, health and other professionals, workplaces and institutions, media, civil society organizations, schools, various government departments, industry and even multinational bodies must work together to prevent cancer.
Reduce your risk of cancer by living well, being aware, and getting involved.