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Did you know that more than 50% of cancers are preventable?

About prevention
What you eat, whether you smoke, your level of activity, and how you spend time in the sun are all lifestyle choices that can affect your chances of getting cancer, and your chances of preventing it. Alcohol consumption also plays a part in some cancers.

Knowing more about risk factors and prevention is important for everyone. But it is also important for cancer survivors because of the possible risk for developing a second primary cancer. In fact, if second primary cancers were taken as a group, they would be the sixth most common cancer.

Please see the menu to the right for more information on each of these factors.

How healthy are you?

Assessing your health and potential cancer risk factors can help you make decisions to keep you well. Try our printable quiz and goal sheet

You can also protect yourself through BC Cancer's screening programs, which can detect breast, cervix and colon cancer at early stages.

Our programs

Healthy Living Schools certificate recipients

Prevention Educational Leaders put our programs in place across the province with the regional health authorities and others.We shape the programs according to local needs and goals.

Knowing that the experiences of young people in school can lay the foundation for an active and healthy adult lifestyle, in 2004 the Prevention Programs launched Healthy Living Schools.

All K-12 schools across British Columbia were surveyed to determine whether they address the key preventable risk factors for cancer. We found that many schools had vigorous programs in their curricula for tobacco cessationsun safety, and a balanced approach to diet and physical activity that includes offering healthy food choices. Since then, we have repeated this approach several times. New schools have obtained certification and schools that had already demonstrated their commitment to healthy living were recertified. Each school has received a certificate, along with tools and materials to assist their health promotion efforts.

The Prevention Programs uses a population health approach, working closely with local Health Authorities and school districts to provide up-to-date, evidence-based information to the education community. These activities include presentations at school district meetings, workshops with teachers at Pro-D days, and consultation with Parent Advisory Committees. We strive to support the four pillars of education, as described in our comprehensive school health document.

We created the award-winning resource of to help high-school students complete their Ministry of Health mandated Healthy Living Plans and learn about active and cancer-preventive lifestyles.

Prevention Educational Leaders & BC Schools

Our team of Prevention Educational Leaders work closely with their local Health Authorities and school districts to help children and their families understand that what they eat, their level of activity, whether they smoke, and if they protect themselves from the sun all have a long-term impact on their health and well being. The Prevention Programs created a Healthy Lunches Guide to help you create kid-friendly lunches and snacks that are healthy and easy to prepare. Click on the image for a pdf version of What's for Lunch?

Please contact Kathy Pym at 604-877-6227 to discuss how we can help your school, or simply complete and send in the questionnaire provided below. For information on having your school certified as a Healthy Living School, please consult the documents below. is an award-winning program that has been developed by the Prevention Programs to teach young people about cancer prevention and healthy living. This program consists of an interactive website, and other printed and downloadable resources, which include: 

  • Educator's Guide to Hi5Living
  • Cancer Prevention Quizzes
  • Self-Assessment Questionnaire
  • Daily ‘Do-ables’ - Strategies for Daily Change
  • Planning Tools, such as Goal Setting and SMART Goals
  • Crossword Puzzles
  • Q&A Card Games
  • Healthy Living Planning Tool for Graduation Transitions

The downloadable resources can be found on the Hi5 Tools page of the website.

Fact sheet on Hi5Living



BC Cancer Prevention Programs Sun Safety initiative recognizes those preschool and daycare facilities in BC that have instituted measures to help protect children from harmful exposure to the sun. As a key element of our Sun Safe Program, we issue "Sun Safe Facility" certificates to daycares and preschools that meet essential sun safety requirements.

If your school or daycare wishes to participate in the pre-school / daycare sun awareness certification program, please contact Vivian Wong at (604) 877-6299.

For more information, please read the Sun Safe Program fact sheet below.

Some of our sun safety materials for young children can be viewed on our Sun Safety webpage.


The Prevention Programs has several tobacco programs, all of which can now be found at

The programs include:

  • Stop Smoking Before Surgery: pre-surgery education of patients as to the benefits of quitting before surgery
  • CTIP (Clinical Tobacco Intervention Program): for healthcare professionals who wish to learn how to assist patients in their quitting attempts
  • TEAM (Tobacco Education Action Module): for the non-healthcare professional, or any others who wish to assist people with their quit attempts



For screening programs, see the screening website.


(Please also see rack cards and posters in Sun Safety section below)


Book: The Health Impact of Smoking & Obesity and What To Do About It

by Hans Krueger, Dan Williams, Barbara Kaminsky & David McLean.

To order, please visit here



To request brochures, please contact us.

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SOURCE: Prevention ( )
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