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Type B Research Projects

Cancer is predominantly caused by environmental factors, rather than inherent biological factors. Importantly, it is possible to reduce exposure to many of these risk factors.

What exactly do we mean by environmental factors? This includes infectious agents such as Human Papilloma Virus, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus, lifestyle-related risk factors such as tobacco use, diet, alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity, and sun exposure, as well as exposure to environmental carcinogens and pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde.

A cancer-causing agent/factor is officially known as a carcinogen. Carcinogens attack the DNA of the cell, causing mutations. This can cause cells to divide or multiply out of control. These cancer cells multiply and grow into a lump or tumour and can spread to other parts of the body.

Your risk of getting cancer increases the more you are exposed to a carcinogen. It is important to be aware of the different carcinogens and avoid or limit exposure to them to reduce your risk of getting cancer.

CANSA’s Type B Research projects

CANSA often conceptualises our Type B Research projects, although this may be in conjunction with other institutions. These projects focus on looking at ways to reduce public exposure to environmental carcinogens. This is achieved through conducting:

  • research that provides us with a greater understanding of how to encourage and facilitate positive behaviour change in terms of lifestyle-related environmental risk factors choices eg. Tobacco use, diet, physical activity, sun behaviour, and screening attendance
  • research on possible environmental carcinogens and pollutants
  • research to screen and evaluate products and where appropriate award these with the CANSA ‘Smart Choice’ seal – to indicate that these products may help to reduce the risk of cancer, in conjunction with other lifestyle choices

The results of these projects are made available to the public through our website, health campaigns, brochures, and fact sheets. They are also used for advocacy activities and to lobby government and industry for change where necessary.

Lifestyle Risk Factors

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Get involved

  • Ask a question or comment on our research in the box at the bottom of this page.
  • Click here to make a secure online donation or make a direct deposit to ABSA Bank, Account: CANSA Research, number: 4079965964, Branch: 632005, Reference: Type B Research projects
  • Read more about CANSA research here.
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