About half of cancers can be prevented

04 February 2014

St. John's, NL -

February 4 is World Cancer Day – a day to raise awareness about all aspects of cancer. This year, World Cancer Day is focused on dispelling myths, including this one: “There is nothing I can do about cancer.”  

The truth is, there is a great deal that can be done – at the individual, community and policy levels. 

“People often feel powerless when it comes to cancer,” says Matthew Piercey, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Cancer Society, Newfoundland and Labrador. “But it’s important to remember that about half of cancers can be prevented. Being informed and taking meaningful action can make a big difference. Working together, we can stop cancer before it starts.” 

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Health Promotion Program and Sun Safety Program focus on ways to reduce your risk of cancer. Here are some of the main focuses of these programs: 

Live well

About half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living, such as eating more vegetables, fruit and fibre, moving more and sitting less, maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking, drinking less alcohol and limiting exposure to UV rays. 

Sun Safety

If your shadow is shorter than you, it’s time to find some shade or go inside. Wearing sunglasses, using sunscreen properly and not using indoor tanning beds are all ways to protect against skin cancer. 

Quit smoking

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Newfoundland and Labrador, and smokers are about 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers. Not smoking is the single biggest thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. 

Be aware

Know your body and report any changes to your doctor. Be aware of cancer-causing substances at home, in the workplace or in your community so that you can make informed decisions about your health. 

Get checked

When cancer is found early, it’s often easier to treat. If you’re in certain age or population groups, you can have screening tests to help find breast, cervical and colorectal cancer before you’ve even noticed symptoms. Talk to your doctor about whether screening is right for you. 

Know your family history

About 5% to 10% of cancers are related to family genetics. It is important to talk to your doctor if you have a family history of cancer. There are tests available that can identify if you are at increased risk. 

Take action

Fight for public policy to make healthy living easier for everyone. 

Raise funds, volunteer or make a donation

When you volunteer, donate or participate in a fundraising event you are helping to provide critical funding for research, cancer prevention, saving lives, and support and information for people living with cancer. 

About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. Building on our progress, we are working with Canadians to change cancer forever. For more information, visit www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934). 

About World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). A truly global event taking place every year on February 4, World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action. For more information, visit www.worldcancerday.org.



The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca today.

For more information, please contact:

Al Pelley

Vice President of Philanthropy

Canadian Cancer Society-NL Division

Phone: (709) 753-6522