Do you know which factors increase your risk of cancer? With a new scare story in the newspapers almost every day, it can be difficult to get the real truth.

Obesity & weight

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of at least 13 types of cancer

Why is weight important?

Being inactive

Not being physically active enough increases your risk of developing cancer

Which cancers are linked?

Poor diet

Your diet can have a positive or negative effect on your cancer risk

How does diet affect risk?

Red and processed meat

Eating too much red meat and any processed meat increases cancer risk

How much meat is safe?

Sugary drinks

Drinking too many sugary drinks can cause weight gain

Find out more


Drinking alcohol increases the risk of at least 6 cancers, including bowel and breast

Is there a healthy limit?


Smoking tobacco is the biggest cause of cancer around the world

Do e-cigarettes count?

Sun and UV

Sunbeds, sunbathing and too much exposure to sunlight can cause cancer

How much sun is safe?


Almost a fifth of cancers around the world are caused by infections

Who's at risk?

HRT and the Pill

HRT and hormonal contraception have been linked with certain cancers

What are the dangers?

Inherited genes and family history

Only about five to 10 per cent of all cancers result from specific inherited genes

What's the link to cancer?

Radiation and pollution

Info on mobile phones, X-rays, microwaves and many other types of radiation

What's harmful radiation?

Ultra-processed food

Cakes, biscuits, burgers, sweets – they’re everywhere, but how do they affect your risk of cancer?

Get the facts


Can plastic or breast implants cause cancer? We answer common questions

Fact or rumour?