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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Reducing my risk of cancer

Making healthy life choices and taking part in screening programmes can reduce your chance of getting cancer.

Being smokefree will make the biggest difference and it's never too late to stop being a smoker.

Eating well while aiming for a healthy weight is important.

Alcohol is linked to several cancers including bowel and breast cancer. Avoiding alcohol or keeping within safe drinking levels will reduce your risk.

Spend less time sitting and keep active, aiming for at least 30 minutes a day of activity.

Being sun-smart can reduce your risk of all types of skin cancers.

Breastfeeding for 6 months or more reduces the risk of breast cancer.

HPV vaccination reduces the risk of cervical cancer and mouth, throat, penile and anal cancers.

As well as finding cases of cancer, screening programmes can find changes before they become cancer. New Zealand has national screening for cervical, breast and bowel cancers. Some men choose to have a screening test for prostate cancer.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Inherited cancer & BRCA genes

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed December 2021.


Page reference: 307664

Review key: HICCR-38555