New European cancer code

Cancer Focus NI has welcomed the launch of the revised European Code Against Cancer – a move to spread prevention messages across Europe – and urges local people, MLAs, MPs and MEPs to support the campaign.

The European Commission, with the International Agency for Research on Cancer, revised the code, which now lists 12 steps people can take to lower their risk of cancer.  

Cancer Focus NI Head of Cancer Prevention, Gerry McElwee, said: “We’re delighted to support the revised code, which highlights the huge impact that some simple changes could have on reducing the impact of cancer on our society. It also shows that positive government policies are needed to support the efforts of individual citizens.

“The code’s top tip is ‘don’t smoke’. Other messages encourage a healthy diet, promote breastfeeding, vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) and action against high levels of radon.

“We should also avoid using sunbeds and women are advised to limit hormone replacement therapy. Finally, everyone is urged to go for screening when called.”

Mr McElwee added: “We plan to increase the public’s engagement with this code so that it helps empower individuals to take action to prevent cancer and becomes a key tool for decision makers when they’re enacting policy.

“The code stresses the need to control tobacco, to promote nutrition and to be more active. Skin cancer rates have risen and we welcome the code’s strong message on limiting exposure to sunlight and avoiding sunbeds.” 

Cancer Focus NI has extensive cancer prevention services that go out to schools, workplaces and communities all over Northern Ireland. These include a Smokebusters club for primary school children, a schools’ health programme, Keeping Well vans that bring vital health checks into the heart of communities and stop smoking clinics.

For more information on these services please call 028 9066 3281 or email behealthy@cancerfocusni.org. If you have any concerns about cancer call the Cancer Focus NI free helpline on 0800 783 3339.

Click here for more about the European Cancer Code.

Pictured (l-r) are Gerry McElwee, Cancer Focus NI, Michael Hübel, European Commission, Wendy Yared, CEO of European Cancer League,  Liz Atkinson, Cancer Focus NI, and Mark Lawler, European Cancer Concord.


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