New Year is the time to switch on to health

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One in three people will develop cancer in their lifetime and 12,000 people are diagnosed with the disease in Northern Ireland every year.

The Cancer Focus charity says that many cancers can be prevented and has advised that there’s no better time than the New Year to make the switch to a healthier lifestyle.

Here are Cancer Focus’s handy hints and tips for each month:

January – Focus on nutrition. Being overweight can increase your risk of cancer.

February – Increase your exercise. Taking 30 minutes of vigorous exercise or 60 minutes of moderate activity each day can lower your risk of cancer.

March –Stop smoking. This is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health and lower your risk of cancer.

April – Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. If you’re between 60 and 71, go for bowel cancer screening when you are invited.

May – Take care in the sun. Get ready for the summer sun at home and abroad by protecting your skin to prevent skin cancer. Don’t use sunbeds.

June – Every year, around 6,200 men are diagnosed with cancer in Northern Ireland. The Cancer Focus ‘ManAlive’programme raises awareness of the positive impact that small changes can make to both physical and mental health.

July – Reduce your alcohol intake. Did you know that drinking alcohol increases your risk of cancer? If you drink, try to limit your intake

August - Early detection. Cancer can be more effectively treated if it is detected early so keep a check on any changes to your body.

September - Encourage your children to make healthy lifestyle choices.

October - Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Women are encouraged to check their breasts regularly. As well as lumps, check for dents, puckering, dimpling of breasts or nipple changes.

November -Take care using harmful substances.

December - celebrate your successes.