Risk Reduction and Prevention

Cancer Prevention 

Cancer Prevention takes a health promotion approach to cancer prevention as it works together with individuals, communities and groups to create conditions in Saskatchewan that improve population health and well-being. Our work as an organization looks at the social, environmental and economic influences that impact health and well-being, and focusses on health equity.

Cancer prevention is not something that a single organization or department can do alone, and much of our work centres on collaboration to make a difference.

We acknowledge that physical and social environments can have a significant effect on health. People are more likely to be healthy if:

  • They have adequate income and housing, as well as access to sufficient and nutritious food
  • They built and natural environments in their communities promote health
  • They have strong social support networks
  • The health impact of public policies is considered across sectors and at all levels of government

Working in Partnership

Cancer Prevention works in collaboration with other stakeholders, associations, organizations, and communities.

Currently, the agency participates as members of the Saskatchewan Epidemiology Association, Saskatchewan Public Health Association, Population Health Promotion Practitioners Council, Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership, Northern Healthy Communities Partnership, and Truth and Reconciliation Action Groups in Saskatoon and Regina.

We also work in partnership with the Eagle Moon Health Office, AIDS Saskatoon, the Canadian Cancer Society and others to promote health in the province.

Did you know that about __ per cent of cancer cases in Saskatchewan are linked to a number of factors that we can control or change?

Not surprisingly, tobacco is still the leading cause of cancer. However, other unhealthy habits can also increase the risk of cancer, such as:

  • An inactive lifestyle
  • Unhealthy eating
  • Excess body weight
  • Alcohol consumption

By changing our habits and lifestyles, we can lower our risk of being diagnosed with the most common types of cancer, such as breast, lung and colorectal.

What can you do?

  • Eat well. Follow a healthy, balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, proteins and complex carbohydrates. 
  • Get moving. Following a regular exercise program. Play a sport, go for a walk, or find a fitness app that you enjoy. There are so many ways to get your heart rate up, which is also great for your mental health as well.
  • Drink minimal or no alcohol. 
  • Reduce salt and sugar.
  • Physical Activity and Nutrition

    Staying physically active and eating a healthy diet play an important role in your overall health. Staying a healthy weight, being active and good nutrition are all ways to help reduce your risk for many different types of disease including several types of cancer.

    Adding physical activity to your daily life can help make a difference. Physical activity does not have to mean sports or organized activities. It can include things like walking a pet, planting a garden, playing outdoors in the snow, playing tag, or even everyday household chores like sweeping the floor. What works best for you will depend on many factors including your budget, your community, what you have access to and what cultural activities you and your family participate in daily.

    Following Canada’s food guide is one way to plan healthy meals that include:

    Vegetables and fruit

    Whole grain products

    Milk and alternatives

    Meat and alternatives


Screening means checking your body for cancer before you have symptoms.

Getting screening tests regularly can help find cancer early, when treatment is likely to work best.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to still be screened for other cancers based on your age and sex. Talk to your primary healthcare provider about screening for cancers.

Prevention and Health Promotion

The objective of cancer prevention is “keeping healthy people healthy.”

While it is important to eat healthy foods, stay physically active, practice sun safety, avoid commercial tobacco use, and limit alcohol consumption, even more important are the factors in our environment that influence our behaviours and our health. What surrounds us shapes us and our actions.

Sun Safety

Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, but yet its rates continue to grow. Overexposure to ultraviolent (UV) rays from the sun, tanning beds or sun lamps can cause skin cancer, including melanoma, which is the most dangerous form of the disease.

The Prevention Department is a member of Sun Smart Saskatchewan, which is a coalition of partners committed to the prevention of skin cancer. “Life is better outside,” and there are simple steps people can take so that they can have fun in the sun all year round. Remember no tan is a safe tan.

How to be safe in the sun

  • Limit your time spent in direct sun between 11:00 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Seek out shade or make your own with umbrellas, awnings or other covers
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat that protects your face, neck and ears
  • Use sunglasses that block both UVA and ultraviolet –B rays (UVB). It’s import to remember to protect your eyes even in the winter months
  • Apply sunscreen and a lip balm with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. Use more than you think (a full teaspoon for your face and two tablespoons for the rest of your body if your limbs are exposed) and remember to reapply when spending time in the water or when sweating from physical activity.