Reduce the risks of developing cancer

Research shows that over 40% of all cancers can be prevented by having a healthy lifestyle. There are a number of lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, obesity, alcohol and excessive exposure to sunlight that can increase your risk of developing cancer.


This is the largest single cause of cancer in the UK leading to almost 1 in 5 of all cancers. Smoking is linked to lung cancer as well as cancers of the head and neck and oesophagus.

For information on reducing or stopping smoking contact the Wandsworth Stop Smoking Service.

Diet and obesity

Almost 1 in 10 of Cancer cases in the UK can be linked to dietary factors.  You can reduce your cancer risk by eating a healthy, balanced diet.

It is estimated that over 1 in 20 of all cancers in the UK can be linked to excess bodyweight. The most common being cancers of the uterus, kidney and oesophagus.

More information about how your diet can affect your risk of getting cancer.

For more information about healthy eating and local weight management programmes see healthy eating pages or speak to your GP.


It is estimated that 4% of cancers can be linked to excessive alcohol.  For more information about how you can reduce your alcohol intake contact your GP or you can access local alcohol support services.

Sunlight exposure

We all need some sunshine to make enough vitamin D to build and maintain strong bones but too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from sunbeds and excess sunlight can increase your risk of developing skin cancer (malignant melanoma).

It is recommended that you do not use sunbeds and to protect yourself from excess sun exposure using high factor protection and covering up. View information about skin cancer prevention and SunSmart advice (Cancer Research UK).

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