Reduce your risk of…

Reducing your risk of cancer

Some links on this page have been colour coded to make it easier to find the information you need:

Quick Read
Clinical level

Cancer becomes increasingly common as we become older. “There were 375,000 cases of cancer in 2016-2018 in the UK.”
“Cancer Statistics for the UK.” Cancer Research UK website. Retrieved 23rd February 2023

The good news is that the survival rate has been going up in the last few decades. Even better is that nearly 30 to 50% of cancers are preventable by making some lifestyle changes.

Much of prevention of cancer can be done without ever needing to attend a GP practice, with local self-referral offering to support you reduce your risk of cancer. This is explained further in the questions below. Some screening occurs at your GP practice but most occurs outside in national programmes. There is a link to more information on screening throughout your life. Spotting cancer early is very beneficial in treatment and there is a link to help you do this.


From Cancer Research UK
Causes of cancer (includes preventable causes)  Causes of Cancer | Cancer Research UK


“Between 30–50% of all cancer cases are preventable. Prevention offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer.”
“Preventing cancer.” World Health Organisation website. Retrieved 25th January 2024

From Cancer Research UK
Can cancer be prevented? Can cancer be prevented? | Cancer Research UK

From Macmillan Cancer Support
Causes and risk factors (Lifestyle risk factors and reducing your risk) Causes and risk factors – Macmillan Cancer Support

From the National Cancer Institute
Cancer Prevention Overview – Patient Version Cancer Prevention Overview (PDQ®)–Patient Version – National Cancer Institute

Short Questionnaire

Cancer Research UK provide a short questionnaire which provides you with some personal feedback and recommendations to help you reduce your risk
Can I reduce my cancer risk? Can I reduce my cancer risk? | Cancer Research UK

Self referral to local support

In addition to the self-care advice from the cancer research UK questionnaire above there is excellent local support to support lifestyle changes in reducing your risk of cancer. See under:


From the NHS

From Patient info

From the British Association of Dermatologists and the British Skin Foundation
Sun awareness and safety

From Dermnet NZ

From Cancer Research UK
How do sunbeds cause skin cancer? How do sunbeds cause skin cancer? | Cancer Research UK


See the section “Skin cancer”, for information on how an early diagnosis of skin cancer can be made, under


From Cancer Research UK
Screening can save lives by finding cancers at an early stage, or even preventing them.
Screening for cancer Screening for cancer | Cancer Research UK

More detailed information on screening is available under


Diagnosing cancer early can very much help in the treatment of cancer. Awareness of symptoms and signs which might indicate cancer are worth knowing about.

Information on some of the key symptoms and signs which may indicate an assessment by a GP is required to exclude cancer can be found under

Further information on cancer

Further information on cancer can be found under:

Videos and podcasts

On the videos and podcasts page there are links to some relevant videos and podcasts covering the topic of reducing your risk of cancer.

DISCLAIMER: This website is provided for information only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It does not replace the advice, diagnosis and treatment provided by a medical professional. We will not accept responsibility for any loss, damage or injury that arises from the use of this website.

Links are provided for information only and though we endeavour to ensure the information is accurate, we cannot accept responsibility for the sites linked to or the information found on these sites. A link to a site does not indicate approval or support of the site. While we endeavour to make sure that downloadable content is free from viruses, we cannot accept any liability for damage resulting from a virus infection.

Skip to content