The European Code Against Cancer describes actions that you can take to reduce your risk of developing cancer. The more recommendations you can follow, the lower your risk of cancer will be.

However, not all people have the same opportunities to reduce their risk. Lifestyles are also influenced by the social and economic circumstances in which people are born and live. These circumstances depend partially on political, cultural, and environmental factors that are not directly under personal control.

Cancer prevention is most successful when government policies and actions make healthy choices easier and protect citizens from cancer-causing agents.

For example, more policies are needed to make it harder to buy and smoke tobacco, and easier to be physically active and have a healthy diet. The further reduction of air pollution requires the enforcement or strengthening of regulations.

Together, individuals, health advisers, cancer societies and communities should encourage and support policies and actions that make healthy choices easier and create environments that help people to avoid cancer and live to a healthy old age.