Skip to main content


BC Cancer works to prevent cancer, by providing advice on behaviours that can affect your risk for many cancers.

Around 4 in 10 cancers could be prevented by making healthy behaviour changes. What you eat and drink, whether you smoke, your level of physical activity and how much you protect yourself from the sun are all things that can affect your chances of getting cancer, and your chances of preventing it.

There are some environmental factors which are a risk and these vary depending on where you live and work. 

Other factors, such as family history, income, age, race and ethnicity, are also important. While they cannot be changed, being aware of these risk factors can be beneficial if it motivates you to lower your risk in areas where you have control.

For more information on how to reduce your cancer risk, please visit the Preventing Cancer website.

About us

BC Cancer’s Prevention Program has Health Promotions Specialists (HP Specialists) who build partnerships and collaborate on public health initiatives, supporting awareness and action in British Columbia regarding lifestyle factors for cancer prevention. In BC alone, the combined annual cost of smoking, inactivity, and obesity amounts to approximately $3.8 billion.

We know that approximately one in three people will develop cancer in their lifetime, yet around 40 percent of those cancers are preventable. 

In carrying out their mandate, the HP Specialists focus on evidence-based information about factors that are known to increase risk for cancer. Tobacco, unhealthy body weight, inactivity, poor nutrition and sun exposure are some of these factors.

We have a strict adherence to evidence-based knowledge and are constantly looking for opportunities to make progress in cancer prevention and promote healthy living for all British Columbians.

Learn more about the Prevention Programs here.


BC Generations Project

The BC Generations Project, British Columbia’s largest-ever health study, is led by researchers at BC Cancer. It is a large population-based biobank comprised of data and biosamples about the people of BC, contributed by the people of BC.  Its goal is to help researchers learn more about how environment, lifestyle and genes contribute to cancer and other chronic diseases. The BC Generations Project is part of a national research initiative called the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project.

To learn more about the study, including how to join, visit the BC Generations Project website.
Our team

BC Cancer’s Prevention Educational Leaders 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.

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.

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 PEL 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.

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.

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.

Tab Heading

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

Copyright © BC Cancer. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright © 2024 Provincial Health Services Authority