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How to not get cancer, according to the experts

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Cancer experts at the World Health Organisation (WHO) have published a 12-point code aimed at preventing cancer.

Dr Joachim Schuez, who led the research, explained "these are all recommendations where you can change your behaviour as an individual". These are their guidelines:

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 healthy body weight.

4. Be physically active in everyday life. Limit the time you spend sitting.

5. 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.

10. 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 HRT.

11. Ensure your children take part in vaccination programmes for:

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

12. Take part in organized cancer screening programmes for:

  • Bowel cancer (men and women)
  • Breast cancer (women)
  • Cervical cancer (women)

More: 12 ways to reduce your cancer risk

More: How much we spend on cancers against how deadly they are

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