Lower your cancer risk

We can reduce our risk of cancer by eating wellstaying activenot smokinglimiting or avoiding alcohol and being SunSmart. Having regular screening tests and vaccinating your children against HPV and Hepatitis B is also important. Things that lower our risk of cancer are called protective factors.

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Risk factors

Anything that can increase your chances of cancer are called risk factors. Tobacco smoking is the greatest risk factor for lung cancer. People who use sunbeds are at higher risk of skin cancer.

Some risk factors can be changed, such as being more active or by using sunscreen. Some risk factors can’t be changed, such as having a strong family history of cancer. 

Having one or more risk factor does not mean that you or your whānau will develop cancer. Most of us have at least one risk factor yet will never develop cancer. Others with cancer may have had no known risk factors.

The most common cancers in Aotearoa are prostatebowelmelanomalung and breast cancer.  For each of these cancers there are risk factors.