Lower your risk

Having a healthy lifestyle can reduce your chance of getting cancer.

Stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol, getting active and eating healthy foods are all proven to lower your risk. These things can be hard to do. So there’s help here and links to other organisations in Brighton who could support you.

Smoking causes heart disease,
chronic lung disease and lung cancer.

It increases risk of cancer of: lips, mouth, tongue, throat, stomach and other cancers.

  • There is no safe level of use.
  • Cigarettes contain over 60 cancer causing chemicals.
  • Passive smoking causes disease and death amongst non-smokers.
  • Smoking and alcohol combined increases cancer risk.

Don’t start smoking
If you have started smoking, quit as soon as you can. It’s never too late. You’ll improve your general health and greatly reduce your risk of cancer.

Stopping smoking is one of the best ways to reduce your chances of developing cancer. No matter what age you are, stopping smoking not only reduces your chances of developing cancer but it also makes a positive difference to your general health.

Support from local stop smoking services is the most effective in helping people to stop smoking along with stop smoking medications and e-cigarettes to tackle the cravings.

If you are a smoker and want to quit, there is great local support to help you with this.


Drinking alcohol increases the risk
of many cancers.
  • Alcohol is associated with cancer of the mouth, throat, food pipe (oesophagus) breast, liver and bowel. The risk of developing a range of illnesses including cancer increases with the amount of alcohol you drink on a regular basis.
  • Guidelines for both men and women are that you are safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units per week. Check yours here
  • If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over three days or more. If you have one or two heavy drinking sessions, you increase your risks of death from long term illnesses and from accidents and injuries.
  • If you wish to cut down the amount you’re drinking, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week.


Healthy eating and
weight management
Poor diet is linked to a third of cancers.

A diet that is high in fibre, fruit and veg and low in red and processed meat, salt and saturated fat really will help reduce your risk of developing cancer as well as helping you stay a healthy weight.

  • Many adults and children do not eat a healthy diet.
  • It’s important to know your healthy weight. Check yours here
  • A combination of eating a healthy balanced diet combined with exercise is the best way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Cancer Research UK recently found that around three quarters of people don’t know there’s a link between carrying extra weight and cancer. In the UK, it’s estimated to cause 18,100 cancers every year.

Keeping or dropping down to a healthy weight has many health benefits, including reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.


Be sun safe
Most skin cancers are caused by sun
burn or long-term exposure to the sun.
  • Do not burn the skin.
  • Wear a hat, loose cotton clothing and sun glasses.
  • Take special care of babies and young children.
  • Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm.
  • Use sunscreen Sun Protection Factor 30 or higher for periods
    of unavoidable exposure and reapply sun cream throughout the day.
  • Do not use sun beds, they mimic the sun, emitting harmful UV radiation.

Young children and babies are more sensitive to the effects of UV rays, and extra care should be taken to protect their skin.

Children and young adults tend to spend more time outdoors, and overexposure to the sun will increase their risk of skin ageing and skin cancer which will only become apparent when they’re older.

It can be helpful to teach your child the importance of protecting themselves from a young age, as this may help sun safety to become a lifelong practice.


Keeping active
Being active reduces cancer risk,
heart disease, improves quality of life
and has long term health benefits.

Simple activities in your day can reduce your risk of serious illness, keep your heart healthy and strengthen muscles and bones. It can also reduce stress levels, make you happier and improve your general wellbeing.

  • Physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis and increases risk of some cancers.
  • Try to be active daily and do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as cycling or brisk walking, every week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week. You can split this into 10 minutes three times a day or 15 minutes twice a day and still get the same benefit. Activities such as walking to work can make a big difference.

Keeping or dropping down to a healthy weight has many health benefits, including reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.