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LETTER: The role of physical activity in helping reduce the risk of cancer

A letter from Elizabeth Holmes of the Canadian Cancer Society notes the role of living a healthy lifestyle in preventing cancer
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GuelphToday received the following letter from Elizabeth Holmes of the Canadian Cancer Society

Most of us know why cancer research is important. The more we study different cancers, such as breast cancer, the more we know about how best to diagnose, treat and live with and beyond them. But what about research that can help us prevent cancer?

A recent study funded by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) – the ComPARe study – found that about 4 in 10 cancer cases can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the health of Canadians. The ComPARe study looked at more than 20 modifiable cancer risk factors and their association with 30 different cancer types.

A standout finding of the ComPARe study is that about 28% of breast cancer cases can be prevented by increasing physical activity and healthy eating as well as decreasing tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption and sedentary behaviour. Findings like this can help us make decisions about our lifestyles and compel governments to implement healthy public policies that could help reduce our cancer risk in the future.

Thanks to dedicated Canadians, CCS is able to fund the best cancer prevention research in the country, and through events like the Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure, CCS is able to fund even more research into how we can prevent, diagnose, treat, and live with and beyond breast cancer.

We need your help to do more. Join us at your local Run in Guelph on October 6. You can sign up today by visiting


Elizabeth Holmes, MPH
Health Policy Analyst
Canadian Cancer Society