Cancer Prevention and Health Promotion

There is convincing evidence that alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer.  Review Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines 

Being physically active can reduce the risk of cancer and during cancer treatment physical activity can help patients combat treatment side effects and improve quality of life.  

Smoking increases the risk of cancer and smoking during cancer treatment reduces treatment efficacy.  Even after a cancer diagnosis quitting smoking can make a difference.  Visit the NSHA Library website for a learning module on cancer and tobacco.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report that 30 to 50 percent of all cancer can be prevented.  
Cancer survivors are encouraged to comply with the WCRF/IARC cancer prevention recommendations as follows:
  • All cancer survivors should receive nutritional care and guidance on physical activity from trained professionals.
  • Unless otherwise advised, and if they can, all cancer survivors are advised to follow the Cancer Prevention Recommendations as far as possible after the acute stage of treatment.
The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) Commercial tobacco policy pack finds that 30% of all cancer deaths and up to 85% of lung cancer cases are 
caused by smoking and states that reducing smoking prevalence is a key cancer prevention strategy. 

Evidence-informed policy actions addressed in this policy pack:
  • Protect people from tobacco smoke
  • Offer help to quit tobacco use
  • Warn about the dangers of tobacco
  • Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS)
  • Raise taxes on tobacco
The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) Ultraviolet radiation policy pack reports that there is strong evidence to support a 
causal link between exposure to solar UVR and both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers (basal and squamous cell carcinoma), and artificial UVR from tanning beds and melanoma skin cancer. There is also sufficient evidence to support a causal link between electric welding arcs and ocular melanoma.

Topics covered:
  • UVR policy pack: background evidence
  • Evidence-informed UVR policy actions
  • Key statistics: Exposure to solar and artificial UVR in Canada
  • Public perceptions of the issue of exposure to UVR and cancer
  • Economic evidence to support UVR policy
  • Indicators to measure progress on UVR policy
The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) Alcohol policy pack reviews evidence supporting a causal link between alcohol and cancer at seven sites
in the body: oropharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, breast, colon and rectum 

Topics Covered:
  • Background evidence: Alcohol and cancer
  • Evidence-informed alcohol policy actions to reduce alcohol consumption in Canada
  • Key statistics: Alcohol consumption in Canada’s largest cities
  • Key statistics: Alcohol consumption in provinces and territories
  • Public perceptions: Alcohol and cancer
  • Economic evidence to support alcohol policy
  • Indicators to measure progress on alcohol policy