There are now more people living with cancer in the world today than ever before.

The incidence of cancer is rising due to many factors, including the fact that people are living longer. However treatments have improved so much that more people are surviving cancer.

Cancer Prevention is easier than you think.  With a few simple lifestyle changes, you can drastically reduce your risk of many types of cancer.

It’s important to know your body and what is right for you.  The sooner a cancer is detected, the better chance you have.

For support, information or advice contact Purple House Cancer Support on 01-2866966, by email: or visit our website

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Avoid smoking and exposure to smoke.

  • Smoking is responsible for not only lung cancer but many other types of cancer. To quit smoking or never start is one of the best ways to help prevent lung cancer.

Be Sun Aware and check your skin for any changes in moles or other blemishes.

  • Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer among men and women and it accounts for a large majority of all cancer diagnoses.
  • The good news is that skin cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer.

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.

  • A good balanced diet is needed for overall optimum health.
  • A diet rich in fruit and vegetable helps reduce your risk of developing cancer and many other conditions.
  • Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants.  These help repair damaged cells.  Vary your fruit and vegetables and mix colours like green, orange and yellows.
  • Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower, appear to host a powerful array of anti-cancer properties, according to many studies.  So eat your five a day.

Limit Red Meat and other animal fats.

  • Studies have shown that a diet high in fats and animal fat can increase the risk for several types of cancer and other conditions.
  • Red meat contains more fat that fish and poultry.
  • A diet high in fat can be a major cause of overweight and obesity.
  • Obesity can be a risk factor for many conditions including diabetes.

Limit Your Alcohol intake.

  • Follow the guidelines for alcohol and remember that excessive amounts of alcohol increase your risk for many types of cancer.


  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) regards drinking amounts in excess of the above weekly limits, up to 40 standard drinks a week for men, or up to 28 standard drinks a week for women to be ‘hazardous’.



Physical activity for cancer prevention and general health.


  • Exercise regularly.  It can help reduce your risk for many types of cancer and other conditions.
  • Daily exercise of 30 minutes or more at least 5 days a week.
  • Helps maintain weight loss and improves metabolism.
  • Doesn’t involve going to the gym. Instead try walking, jogging, swimming, yoga, Pilates, tai chi.

Safe Sex and Sexual Activity.

  • Unsafe sex can result in the infection of the human papillomavirus (HPV) virus.  A know cause for cervical cancer and a risk factor for many other types of cancer.
  • HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that is spread through sexual, skin to skin contact.

Cancer Screening Programmes.

  • Cancer Screening Programmes can be useful in not only detecting cancer, but helping to prevent it.
  • Regular Screening tests can detect abnormal cellular changes before they turn cancerous.
  • Cervical Check is a National Screening Programme.  Contact them at 1800 45 45 55.
  • Breast Check is also a National Screen Programme.  Contact them at 1800 45 45 55
  • Prostate Cancer Screening through rectal exams and PSA tests can help detect prostate cancer early.
  • A Colonoscopy, screening for colon cancer and other bowel conditions is available through your G.P.
  • Contact your G.P. in all instances if you are worried or concerned about any area of your physical or mental health.

Purple House Cancer Support has been involved in Health Awareness Programmes since 1990.  We are to the forefront in emotional support and practical help for those who have or had cancer and their family and friends.

Our free services are open to people of all ages.  Purple House is open daily at Aubrey Court, Parnell Road, Bray Co. Wicklow and we can be contacted at 01-2866966 or

Most Common changes to look out for are:

  • A lump or sore that doesn’t heal.
  • A mole that changes in shape, size or colour, or bleeds in unual circumstances.
  • Ongoing cough or hoarseness that last longer than three weeks.
  • Change in bowel or bladder habits.
  • Unexplained weight loss or tiredness.

Many symptoms may simply be due to other conditions or complaints other than cancer.

Contact your G.P. or Health Care Consultant if you are concerned about any of the above.

Men’s Checklist:

(Possible signs to look out for)

Prostate cancer

  • Passing urine more often, especially at night
  • Pain or difficulty when passing urine
  • Trouble starting or stopping the flow of urine
  • Frequent pain in your lower back, hips or upper thighs
  • Trouble having or keeping an erection
  • Blood in your urine or sperm (very rare)

Testicular cancer

  • A painless lump or swelling in a testicle
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
  • An enlarged testicle or a change in the way it feels
  • A heavy feeling in your scrotum

Bowel (colon) cancer

  • A change in your normal bowel motion, such as diarrhoea or constipation.
  • Feeling you have not emptied your bowel fully after a motion.
  • Pain or discomfort in your abdomen (tummy) or back passage.
  • Trapped wind or fullness in your tummy.
  • Weight loss.
  • Tired and breathless (due to anaemia from blood loss).
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in stools.
  • A lump in your tummy area.

Lung cancer

  • Difficulty breathing
  • A cough that doesn’t go away or a change in a long-term cough
  • Repeated chest infections that won’t go away even after antibiotics
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • A hoarse voice
  • Coughing up blood-stained phlegm
  • Pain in your chest, especially when you cough or breathe in
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling around your face and neck
  • Difficulty swallowing

Skin cancer

  • A small lump
  • Flat, red spot
  • Firm, red lump
  • A lump or spot that is tender to touch
  • An ulcer that will not heal
  • A lump with a scaly or horny top
  • Rough, scaly patches
If you have any concerns about any of the above information, please contact your GP to hopefully ease any concerns.

Women’s Checklist:

Breast Cancer:

  • A lump, any size, or thickening in your breast.
  • Constant pain in one part of your breast.
  • A change in size or shape.
  • Changes in the nipple.
  • Changes in the skin – dimpling, puckering or redness.
  • ‘Orange Peel’ appearance of the skin caused by unusually enlarged pores.
  • Prominent veins that have become more noticable.
  • Lump or swelling or constant pain in your armpit.

Cervical Cancer:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding. For example, bleeding in between your periods, after sex or after the menopause.
  • Blood-stained vaginal discharge that may have a foul smell.
  • Discomfort or pain in your pelvis

Ovarian Cancer:

  • Bloated feeling
  • Persistent swollen abdomen
  • Pain or dragging sensation in your lower abdomen or side
  • Vague indigestion or nausea
  • Poor appetite and feeling full quickly
  • Changes in your bowel or bladder habits; for example, constipation or needing to pass water urgently
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding (rare)

If you have any concerns about any of the above information, please contact your GP to hopefully ease any concerns.