Browse through this section to find out about your health and the main avoidable risk factors for cancer.

Welcome to the Facts

First of all, it’s important to understand what cancer is—and what it isn’t. In medical terms, cancer is a group of diseases that makes cells multiply in an out-of-control way. If not controlled by surgery or drugs, this kind of growth (known as metastasis) can lead to death. We say cancer is a ‘group’ of diseases because there are many different kinds of cancer, usually named for the place where the cancer first develops, such as the breast, lung, colon, or skin.

In spite of the fact that you cannot catch cancer from anyone else, people can still feel powerless in the face of such a deadly disease. However, the truth is many cancers can be prevented—actually, more than 50% of cancers can be prevented. The first step is to get informed—get the true facts about cancer, the risks, and how to avoid those risks.

The daily decisions you make about your lifestyle matter not just for now, but also for the future. This includes choices you make about the food you eat, how much exercise you get, if you use tobacco, and whether you protect yourself from the sun. The good news is that because more than half of all cancers are a direct result of behaviour that can be changed, you can do something about it. Unhealthy habits, peer pressure, lack of awareness, and misinformation can all get in the way of healthy lifestyle habits that promote cancer prevention and good health in general. Practicing healthy behaviours such as not using tobacco, having a healthy body weight, keeping active, and eating a healthy diet also helps to reduce your risk of other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Why a tan isn’t good for you and how to stay skin safe

Who wants you hooked on tobacco, and strategies to help you quit

How your weight affects more than just your looks

Food, glorious food: more about smart dietary choices

All about fitness and physical activity for good health

We want to hear from you!

We want to know what you think. Write to us at hi5@preventionprograms.org if you have any questions or stories to tell us about cancer and cancer prevention.