Cancer Prevention 101

6 things you can do to prevent cander

A resource for UBC students 

Did you know that about half of cancers potentially could be prevented? Yes, it’s true! Genetics and family history only account for 5-10% of cancers.

Your lifestyle choices not only can have an impact on your risk of cancer, but also can affect your risk for developing other chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The choices you make today can have an impact on your risk right now—and also 20-30 years down the road.

For example, you might think that getting sunburned as a young adult is not a big deal. Unfortunately, research evidence shows that sun exposure early in life (even just one bad sunburn) increases the risk of melanoma, which is the most serious kind of skin cancer.

We can all probably do a little more to be healthy, right?

But let’s face it: change can be hard! Between relationships, work, classes, assignments, and a million other things, it can be hard to find time to make healthy choices and sustain healthy habits.

While your family history and genetic make-up are non-modifiable risk factors (meaning you can’t change them), the good news is that there are some fairly straightforward and simple things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer—and they don’t cost a lot of money. (The risk factors you can change are said to be modifiable.)

The even better news is that now is a great time to start. It’s never too late or too early to make changes to reduce your risk of cancer.

What you can do