Prevention and screening are important in reducing the burden of cancer. It is estimated that 50% of cancer cases and deaths can be prevented by healthier life choices and participation in organized screening programs. Smoking, obesity and physical inactivity are three of the leading modifiable risk factors for developing cancer.
Screening is the early detection of cancer or pre-cancerous conditions in individuals who do not have symptoms of cancer. In Canada, scientific evidence supports population-based cancer screening programs for three types of cancers: breast, cervical, and colon.
Provincial population-based screening programs for cervical and colon cancers are currently under development and are expected to be implemented in 2014.