NOP online
ISSN 1802-887X
national cancer control programme European Code Against Cancer

European Code Against Cancer

The European Code Against Cancer is an initiative of the European Commission to inform people about actions they can take for themselves or their families to reduce their risk of cancer. The current fourth edition consists of twelve recommendations that most people can follow without any special skills or advice. The more recommendations people follow, the lower their risk of cancer will be. It has been estimated that almost half of all deaths due to cancer in Europe could be avoided if everyone followed the recommendations.


12 ways to reduce your cancer risk

1. Do not smoke. Do not use any form of tobacco.
2. Make your home smoke free. Support smoke-free policies in your workplace.
3. Take action to be a heatlhy body weight.
4. By physically active in everyday life. Limit the time your spend sitting.

Have a healthy diet:

  • Eat plenty of whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits.
  • Limit high-calorie foods (foods high in sugar or fat) and avoid sugary drinks.
  • Avoid processed meat; limit red meat and foods high in salt.

6. If you drink alcohol of any type, limit your intake. Not drinking alcohol is better for cancer prevention.
7. Avoid too much sun, especially for children. Use sun protection. Do not use sunbeds.
8. In the workplace, protect yourself against cancer-causing substances by following health and safety instructions.
9. Find out if you are exposed to radiation from naturally high radon levels in your home. Take action to reduce high radon levels.

For women:

  • Breastfeeding reduces the mother's cancer risk. If you can, breastfeed your baby.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases the risk of certain cancers. Limit use of HRT.


Ensure your children take part in vaccination programmes for:

  • Hepatitis B (for newborns)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) (for girls).


Take part in organized cancer screening programmes for:


Source: European Code Against Cancer