Reducing Your Risk of Cancer

There are simple lifestyle measures that can reduce your risk of developing cancer. Simple steps such as eating more fruit, vegetables and cereals, eating less fat and processed foods, cutting back on alcohol, stopping smoking, taking care in the sun and becoming more physically active, will all help to reduce your risk of developing cancer.


Accessing Benefits

If you do develop cancer there are special rules for people with a terminal illness to help them get disability related benefits quickly. For more information contact your local Advice Centre 

Skin Cancer: care in the sun

In Northern Ireland malignant melanoma rates have risen significantly since the 1980's. Most skin cancers are linked to excessive exposure to sunlight. For further information and advice contact Cancer Focus.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in Northern Ireland. It can develop any time but is more common in women over 50. Women aged 50 - 64 are invited for regular breast screening. If you are over 65 however you can still make an appointment through your local screening centre or GP.  For further information email: [email protected]
Screening is free of charge and picks up one third of breast cancers here every year. You should check your breasts for lumps every month and visit your GP
immediately if you notice any changes in your breasts. 

Cervical Cancer

Between the ages of 20 - 65 it is recommended that you have a cervical smear test at least once every five years. Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer. However, regardless of age if you have any bleeding after having sex or after the menopause or if you have any abnormal vaginal discharge you should discuss this with your doctor.   For further information:
Tel: 028 9055 3949 or email: [email protected] 

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. More information can be found in the Prostate Cancer leaflet produced by Cancer Focus. To receive a copy or speak to a cancer information nurse contact:
Tel: 0800 783 3339

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer found in men aged 15 - 45. You should check yourself monthly to look for lumps. It is unusual to develop cancer in both testicles at the same time so you can often compare one testicle with the other to see if it is abnormal. If you detect a lump or any of the symptoms above contact your GP immediately.
More information can be found in the Testicular Cancer leaflet produced by Cancer Focus. To receive a copy and speak to a cancer information nurse contact:
Tel: 0800 783 3339

Bowel Cancer

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer is cancer of the large bowel (colon) and the rectum (back passage). If you notice any change in your normal bowel habits that lasts for more than six weeks you should visit your doctor. More information can be found in the Bowel (Colorectal) Cancer leaflet produced by Cancer Focus. To receive a copy or speak to a cancer information nurse please contact:
Tel: 0800 783 3339

Organisations that can help:

Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service

This service offers information and support to all those who are affected by cancer, from those with concerns relating to diagnosis to those who just wish to know more about how to reduce their risk. To find out more about how this service can help you contact: