Skip to main content

About Cancer Prevention

Did you know that more than 50% of cancers are preventable?
About prevention
What you eat, whether you smoke, your level of physical activity, and how much you protect yourself from 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 cancer 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 (a new cancer that is unrelated to the original one). 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 team

BC Cancer’s Cancer Prevention Coordinators (CPCs) build partnerships, collaborate, and support health authorities in assessing community needs and implementing public education programs, encouraging cancer prevention through health-conscious practices.

Please contact Kathy Pym at 604-877-6227 for further information.

Breann Specht: North / West Vancouver, Lower Mainland

Specht_Jun09.jpgBreann holds a Masters degree in Population and Public health and has over eleven years experience in the health sector, both locally and internationally. As a Community Developer with Vancouver Coastal Health, Breann's work focused on improving the health and well being of her community through capacity building, partnership development, facilitating access to information and services, and creating supportive environments. Breann has also worked in health human resource planning, global tobacco control, HIV/AIDS control and prevention, and health promotion. Teaching has become a growing interest for Breann and she is currently teaching a public health course to naturopath students.

Halla Elmobayad: Lower Mainland, Vancouver

Elmobayad.jpgHalla has been working in the realm of preventative health care for over nine years, with a strong educational background in biopsychology and population health. She completed her Masters Degree at the University of British Columbia, focusing her thesis on Early Childhood Health Care. Halla has worked in direct patient care, medical research and administration which gives her a deep understanding of the health care system and preventative programs. Over the years Halla has centered her professional interest on children and women's health and has worked with families all over the Lower Mainland.

Cheryl Colby: Fraser Valley, Boston Bar

Cheryl Colby has been a health and fitness professional for over 20 years, and has a Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree. Cheryl has served as the Director of Personal Training at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club as well as Jericho Tennis Club, and was one of the original trainers for Lifeworks Health Systems, one of Canada’s leading corporate health and wellness companies. As a personal trainer and health and fitness coordinator, Cheryl has experience with a variety of populations, including children, seniors of all ages, rehabilitation, pre/post natal, athletic training (including tennis and golf), boot camp, special needs and weight loss.
Cheryl believes that everyone deserves a healthy lifestyle, and with her passion for health and people, delivers a positive, energetic approach in working with her communities.

Karen Barnstable: Okanagan, Merritt, Salmon Arm

Karen has a Master’s Degree in Education and has enjoyed working with students at UBC Okanagan in the area of Health Psychology and Community Health Promotion. It was her own love of learning that led Karen into a career in Education. She spent many years teaching in the public school system, instructing French, English and Health. After experiencing every grade from Kindergarten to grade 12, she moved into adult education and spent several years facilitating workshops in portfolio development for Teachers and Employment Counsellors across western Canada. She is currently working as an adjunct professor with UBCO and Okanagan College in addition to her CPC work.

Karen is pleased to be involved in maintaining the resource that contributes to secondary students and families in BC planning and living a healthy lifestyle.

Christy Anderson: Castlegar

Christy holds a commerce degree in entrepreneurial management and has over twelve years of experience working with small business start-ups and their owners. She has a passion for community development from a grassroots level and has been involved in many not-for-profit organizations as both an advisor and as a facilitator. Her experience with non-profit sectors is varied and includes collaboration and work with an independent film festival, rural technology cluster development and leading strategic planning processes.

Andrea Winckers: Boundary, Kootenays, Revelstoke

Andrea has an educational background in Kinesiology, Psychology, and Coaching and has operated her own health and lifestyle consulting business, Kootenay Healthworks, for the past 8 years. She is a member of several diverse community development boards, offering leadership and collaboration in the areas of health promotion, community capacity building, and chronic disease prevention. She brings a passion for developing strategies and catalyzing interventions that enhance individual and community wellbeing. Andrea resides in Trail.


Our Cancer Prevention Coordinators build partnerships, collaborate, and support health authorities in assessing community needs and implementing public education programs, encouraging cancer prevention through health-conscious practices.


The Prevention Programs has several tobacco programs and education modules, which can be found at

  • Stop Smoking Before Surgery / Treatment: information for patients about the benefits of quitting before surgery or treatment
  • CTIP (Clinical Tobacco Intervention Program): for healthcare professionals who wish to learn how to assist patients in their quitting attempts, as well as a "generalist" module for individuals who do not work in healthcare
  • TEAM (Tobacco Education Action Module): for the non-healthcare professional, or any others who wish to assist people with their quit attempts

Camp organizations can play a key role in minimizing UV exposure, by providing an environment that promotes positive sun protection behaviours.  For more information, please read the UV Protection camps brochure.  A camp toolkit will be available by early March 2019.

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. 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

For screening programs, see the screening website.


To request brochures, please contact us.

Tab Heading
SOURCE: About Cancer Prevention ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © BC Cancer. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright © 2019 Provincial Health Services Authority