Lifestyle choices - Reducing your risk of cancer  

Lifestyle choices than can help to reduce you risk of cancer

Here is explore three key lifestyle choices that can help you stay healthier and reduce your risk of developing diseases such as cancer:

  • Weight – maintaining a healthy weight 

  • Smoking 

  • Alcohol 

Weight Management   


Maintaining a healthy weight is important for many reasons.   

In addition to improving the way you feel mentally and physically, maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of cancer, or developing other long-term conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. 


If you struggle to manage your weight, there is plenty of help available, below are just some of the places you can start to find services or information: 


NHS – Live Well – including a BMI healthy weight calculator, tips and advice. 


Essex Wellbeing ServiceFree weight management courses 


Live Well Essex – Find out about local activities, nutrition and weight management. 


MoreLife – Free weight management services in west and south Essex 


Active Essex – Find an activity that’s right for you, from chair yoga to 5 aside football, bowling to cycling, there are activity to suit everyone. 

Risks of being overweight  


There are 13 types of cancer linked to being overweight.  These include: 

  • Brain 

  • Thyroid 

  • Oesophagus 

  • Breast 

  • Liver 

  • Upper Stomach 

  • Gallbladder 

  • Pancreas 

  • Kidney 

  • Bowel 

  • Myeloma (blood cancer) 

  • Ovarian 

  • Womb 

Smoking – how to quit   

There are many reasons people want to stop smoking, in addition to the obvious health benefits, quitting smoking will save you money, your breathing will improve, you’ll have more energy and you’ll be protecting your friends and family from the harmful effect of breathing in your smoke. 

Reduce your risk of cancer - Simply by stopping smoking you will reduce your risk of cancer significantly.  In fact, smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. 


You’re not alone, there are free services available to help you quit: 

Essex Wellbeing ServiceFree stop smoking support

Find your local stop smoking service 


Download the free NHS Quote Smoking app 


In addition to reducing your risk of getting cancer, there are many health benefits attributed to cutting down on drinking alcohol. 

Did you know, alcohol is linked to 7 different types of cancer?  These include: 

  • Breast and bowel cancer (two of the most common types) 

  • Mouth cancer 

  • Some types of throat cancer, oesophagus (food pipe), larynx (voice box) and pharynx (upper throat). 

  • Liver cancer 

Cancer Research UK have produced this useful diagram that helps to explain how alcohol can cause cancer

For more information and support services: 

Essex Wellbeing ServiceFree alcohol reduction support

NHS – Risks of alcohol misuse 

Drinkaware – support services 

Alcoholics Anonymous – find a meeting 

GP – contact your GP if you are at all worried or would like advice