Cancer Care Program

Comprehensive information about cancer prevention, screening, treatment, and care for Nova Scotians.

Tips for Protecting Your Health

It is estimated that about one third of cases of the most common cancers can be prevented through healthy food choices, regular physical activity and a healthy body weight. An additional one third of all cases of cancer can be prevented by choosing not to smoke and avoiding exposure to second hand smoke.

The choices that we make, healthy or otherwise, are influenced by many things – some within our individual control and some not. In the end, preventing cancer and staying health is everyone's job.

  • Be a non-smoker and avoid second-hand smoke.
  • Eat 5 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit a day. Choose high fibre, lower fat foods. If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to 1 to 2 drinks a day.
  • Be physically active on a regular basis - this will also help you maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Protect yourself and your family from the sun. Reduce sun exposure between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Check your skin regularly and report any changes to your doctor.
  • Follow cancer screening guidelines. For women, discuss mammograms, Pap tests and breast exams with a health professional. For men, discuss testicular exams and prostate screening with a health professional. Both men and women should also discuss screening for colon and rectal cancers.
  • Visit your doctor or dentist if you notice a change in your normal state of health.
  • Follow health and safety instructions both at home and at work when using, storing and disposing of hazardous materials.

Tobacco Free Nova Scotia

For help quitting smoking:

  • Visit Tobacco Free Nova Scotia
  • 811
  • Call Nova Scotia Public Health (toll-free) at:
    • 1-866-366-3667 (English)
    • 1-866-527-7383 (French)

Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

These practical tips will help you get started:

  • Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight
  • Be physically active as part of everyday life
  • Limit food and drinks that cause weight gain
  • Eat mostly foods of plant origin
  • Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meats
  • Limit alcoholic drinks
  • Limit the amount of salt you eat
  • Try to meet your nutritional needs through diet alone, rather than through dietary supplements

Alcohol Use

Drinking any amount of alcohol increases a person’s risk for cancer. Yet, only 33% of Canadians know that drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing several types of cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol, follow the Canadian Low Risk Drinking Guidelines.

Sun Safety


Skin cancer rates have been increasing steadily in Canada over the past 30 years and Nova Scotia has one of the highest rates of melanoma skin cancer in Canada. Overexposure to the sun is the primary environmental cause of skin cancer.

Use these helpful resources to stay safe in the sun:

At Work

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and Health Canada in cooperation with the Canadian Dermatology Association promotes sun safety thought the Sun Safety at Work program.

Find useful information and support at the Sun Safety at Work Resource Library.

For more information, email