Doc Talk #57 – Cancer



Most people feel overwhelmed when it comes to messaging around cancer prevention. Much of the advice in this show comes from the Alberta Prevents Cancer website.

We talked about the contributions of genetics and environment.

In Vegreville and Minburn County:

  • 71% of people feel overwhelmed about cancer messaging;
  • People generally consider family history to be a strong risk factor for cancer (perhaps overestimating this)
  • BUT they underestimate the effect that lifestyle measures have on cancer risk (especially physical activity and obesity)
  • More than 80% of people don’t eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily (ideally we should be aiming for 10-12 servings a day)
  • 16% of people smoke (slightly better than the average Alberta rate)

How can you reduce your own cancer risk? Diet; Pap testing; HPV vaccination; avoiding sunburn/excessive UV light exposure (including tanning beds); quitting smoking; physical activity; avoiding being overweight or obese; not drinking alcohol to excess.

You can view cancer risk factors and cancer rates in your own community (by postal code) and compare it to the rest of the province on the Alberta Prevents Cancer community dashboard