European Code Against Cancer

(third version)



The "11 Commandments" for cancer prevention:

Many aspects of general health can be improved and many cancer deaths prevented, if we adopt healthier lifestyles:

1. Do not smoke; if you smoke, stop doing so. If you fail to stop, do not smoke in the presence of non-smokers.

2. Avoid Obesity.

3.  Undertake some brisk, physical activity every day.

4.  Increase your daily intake and variety of vegetables and fruits: eat at least five servings daily.  Limit your intake of foods containing fats from animal sources.

5.  If you drink alcohol, whether beer, wine or spirits, moderate your consumption to  two drinks per day if you are a man or one drink per day if you are a woman.

6.  Care must  be taken to avoid excessive sun exposure. It  is specifically important to protect children and adolescents. For individuals who have a tendency to burn in the sun, active protective measures must be taken throughout life.

7.  Apply strictly regulations aimed  at preventing any exposure to known cancer-causing substances. Follow all health and safety instructions on substances which may cause cancer.  Follow advice of national radiation protection offices.

There are Public Health programmes which could prevent cancers developing or increase the probability that a cancer may be cured:

8.  Women from 25 years of age should participate in  cervical screening. This should be within programmes with  quality control  procedures in compliance with “European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Cervical Screening”.

9.  Women from 50 years of age  should participate in breast screening. This should be within programmes with  quality control  procedures in compliance with “European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Mammography Screening”.

10.  Men and women from 50 years of age should participate in colorectal screening. This should be within programmes with built-in quality assurance procedures.

11.  Participate in vaccination programmes against hepatitis B virus infection.


Themes for European Weeks Against Cancer:

1. Lifestyle (Codes 1-6)
2. Environment (Code 7)
3. Screening (Codes 8-10)
4. Vaccination (Code 11)


Source:  European Commission - click here to download the European Code in pdf and for more information on cancer prevention.

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