MONTREAL, Jan. 6, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - At the beginning of the year, thousands of Quebecers are going to make
one or more resolutions such as giving up smoking, exercising more,
eating better, or maintaining a healthy weight. This year, the Canadian
Cancer Society (CCS) wants to support the public in its New Year's
resolutions because it has been proven that healthy lifestyle habits
can reduce the cancer risk to which we are all exposed1.
The majority of Quebecers are concerned by cancer and want to know more
about risk factors to prevent this disease at all costs. If, in a
recent CCS2 survey, 67% of respondents clearly identified tobacco as a risk factor,
many still have not made the connection between certain lifestyle
habits and the risk of cancer. Surprisingly, only 7% of Quebecers
surveyed believe that physical inactivity and being overweight are
related to the disease; the correlation between an unhealthy diet and
cancer is known only to 27% of the population.
In this period conducive to good resolutions, the CCS would like to
highlight the relationship between physical activity, being overweight,
and cancer to motivate Quebecers to become more active. It would also
like to encourage them to eat better because hardly one in four
Quebecers surveyed eat enough fruits and vegetables per day.
As for Quebecers who intend to quit smoking in 2014, the CCS would like
to remind them that it offers various smoking cessation services for
all types of smokers. "Quitting is by far the best resolution to make
because tobacco is the leading cause of cancer," says Jacinthe
Hovington, Director of Prevention and Health Promotion, CCS - Quebec
Division. "Tobacco addiction is difficult to overcome. In the long run,
only 5% of smokers succeed in quitting for good without any help while
the success rate is at least twice as high among smokers who turn to a
There are more than 1.6 million smokers in Quebec (nearly 24% of the
population aged 12 years and above), of which 32% are unfortunately
youths (aged 20 to 34). It is estimated that a third of all smokers
plan to quit in the next 6 months, which is good news.
To help smokers quit, the CCS offers two personalized services:
The ligne j'Arrête smokers' helpline 1 866 527-7383, which has been used
by more than 100,000 people since 2002, either to quit smoking, prepare
for it, help a loved one, or obtain information. Smokers are lent an
empathetic ear and given advice to suit their situation and needs. The
service is confidential, free of charge, and available from Monday to
Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information: iquitnow.qc.ca.
SMAT (Short text Messages Against Tobacco) uses cell phones to reach
youths between the ages of 18 and 35. For 24 weeks, smokers who have
signed up for the service receive a minimum of 70 text messages
consisting mostly of tips, but also information and encouragement to
help them stay quit. Last year, nearly 1,000 Quebecers used SMAT
services and 25% of them were still non-smokers after three months, a
percentage considered exceptional where smoking cessation is concerned,
especially among youths. Free registration: SMAT.ca.
Physical activity and cancer
According to the CCS survey, nearly 70% of Quebecers do not get the
minimum requirement of 150 minutes of physical exercise per week.
52%, however, reported that they would be prepared to do more if they
knew that it would contribute to reducing their risk of getting cancer.
It has been proven that people who exercise regularly at moderate or
vigorous intensity reduce their risk of getting cancer by 40 to 50%,
compared with sedentary people. In addition, these effects are more
marked for common cancers such as colorectal or breast cancer.
The CCS urges all Quebecers to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per
day. In this regard, it offers the Trottibus Walking School Bus to primary schools to enable children and accompanying volunteers to
walk to school in the morning. A simple and effective way to be more
active every day and instil healthy lifestyle habits at a young age.
Being overweight and cancer
Nearly two out of three adults aged between 18 and 79 and nearly a third
of children and youths aged between 5 and 18 are overweight or obese.
Overweight and obese people have a higher risk of breast, colorectal,
oesophageal, gall bladder, renal, uterine, pancreatic, and liver
It has been proven that physical activity is a very effective way to
lose excess body weight.
Diet and cancer
A healthy diet consisting of lots of vegetables, fruits, and fibres and
low in salt and fat helps maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk
of certain cancers such as colorectal, stomach, and oesophageal cancer.
On the other hand, a diet rich in red or processed meats and sausages
and cold cuts increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
Every day, the Canadian Cancer Society works to save more lives. We have
been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research, and
support people touched by the disease. For 75 years, our goal has
remained unchanged: do more so that fewer of us have to face cancer and
more survive. Let's save more lives: visit cancer.ca or call our Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
1 In Quebec, 48,500 cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2013. Research
shows that 30% to 35% of cancer cases can be prevented through physical
activity, healthy eating, and the maintenance of a healthy weight
(around 15,000 cases).
2 CCS study on cancer prevention (Leger - Research Intelligence Group,
Image with caption: "Canadian Cancer Society, Quebec Division (CNW Group/Canadian Cancer Society, Quebec Division)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140106_C7069_PHOTO_EN_35335.jpg
SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society, Quebec Division
For further information:
André Beaulieu, Spokesperson and Senior Advisor, Public Relations
Canadian Cancer Society - Quebec Division
email@example.com 514 217-8327 or 514 255-5151