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Scottish Government: Don’t get scared, get checked

Reducing your risk of cancer

Many people think that cancer is due to chance, fate or just bad luck. But there is now convincing evidence that around 40 per cent of cancers can be prevented if our lifestyles were to change for the better.

Smoking is responsible for around 19 per cent of cancers, but diet, inactivity, alcohol and excess body weight combined account for a further 22 per cent. If there was a drug that could achieve this level of prevention everyone would probably want to take it, but there isn’t one. Lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of getting cancer significantly and that isn’t possible for every disease.

Scotland has introduced a number of policies, like restrictions on tobacco use, minimum alcohol pricing and a range of action around food and drink available in the NHS and voluntary sectors. However, everyone has a part to play in supporting the changes needed to reduce their individual risk of cancer.

Professor Annie Anderson of the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network (SCPN) said: “Obesity is growing within every community in Scotland. It is hard to manage your body weight, and eating too much is a normal response when we are tempted by promotions, marketing and money-off deals.

“Changing food and diet habits is likely to take time, so start small.”

Here are some tips from the SCPN to get you started:

  • No eating between breakfast and lunch.
  • Trying eating/having two less biscuits, cakes or sweet drinks a day to start with.
  • Always have a jug of cold water in the fridge.
  • Use an old-fashioned plate for dinner – and put less on it.
  • Save cakes for birthdays.

Visit SCPN for recipes, tips and much more www.cancerpreventionscotland.org

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