European code against cancer 4th edition: 12 ways to reduce your cancer risk

Joachim Schüz, Carolina Espina, Patricia Villain, Rolando Herrero, Maria E. Leon, Silvia Minozzi, Isabelle Romieu, Nereo Segnan, Jane Wardle, Martin Wiseman, Filippo Belardelli, Douglas Bettcher, Franco Cavalli, Gauden Galea, Gilbert Lenoir, Jose M. Martin-Moreno, Florian Alexandru Nicula, Jørgen H. Olsen, Julietta Patnick, Maja Primic-ZakeljPekka Puska, Flora E. Van Leeuwen, Otmar Wiestler, Witold Zatonski, Neela Guha, Eva Kralikova, Anne McNeill, Armando Peruga, Annie Anderson, Franco Berrino, Marie Christine Boutron-Ruault, Michele Cecchini, Tim J. Key, Michael Leitzmann, Teresa Norat, Hilary J. Powers, Chiara Scoccianti, Anssi Auvinen, Esther de Vries, Friederike Erdmann, Rüdiger Greinert, John Harrison, Ausrele Kesminiene, Neil McColl, Søen Friis, Manolis Kogevinas, Rodolfo Saracci, Kurt Straif, Harri Vainio, Maribel Almonte, Ahti Anttila, Hugo De Vuyst, Joakim Dillner, Silvia Franceschi, Paula Gonzalez, Andrew Hall, Jin Young Park, Paola Armaroli, Wendy Atkin, Peter B. Dean, Harry de Koning, Lena Dillner, Ernst Kuipers, Iris Lansdorp-Vogelaar, Eugenio Paci, Jaroslaw Regula, Eero Suonio, Sven Törnberg, Lynn Faulds Wood, Nicolas Gaudin, Kirstin Grosse Frie, Veronique Terrasse, Kelly Winstanley, Cristina Bellisario, Elena Biagioli, Michela Cinquini, Silvia Gianola, Marien Gonzalez Lorenzo, Lawrence von Karsa, Tracy Lignini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This overview describes the principles of the 4th edition of the European Code against Cancer and provides an introduction to the 12 recommendations to reduce cancer risk. Among the 504.6 million inhabitants of the member states of the European Union (EU28), there are annually 2.64 million new cancer cases and 1.28 million deaths from cancer. It is estimated that this cancer burden could be reduced by up to one half if scientific knowledge on causes of cancer could be translated into successful prevention. The Code is a preventive tool aimed to reduce the cancer burden by informing people how to avoid or reduce carcinogenic exposures, adopt behaviours to reduce the cancer risk, or to participate in organised intervention programmes. The Code should also form a base to guide national health policies in cancer prevention. The 12 recommendations are: not smoking or using other tobacco products; avoiding second-hand smoke; being a healthy body weight; encouraging physical activity; having a healthy diet; limiting alcohol consumption, with not drinking alcohol being better for cancer prevention; avoiding too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation; avoiding cancer-causing agents at the workplace; reducing exposure to high levels of radon; encouraging breastfeeding; limiting the use of hormone replacement therapy; participating in organised vaccination programmes against hepatitis B for newborns and human papillomavirus for girls; and participating in organised screening programmes for bowel cancer, breast cancer, and cervical cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S1-S10
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 9 2015


  • Cancer prevention
  • Cancer risk factors
  • Cancer screening
  • Europe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology


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