Rapid Fire Session 2014 World Cancer Congress

Empowering Canadians through It’s My Life! - Stop cancer before it starts, an online interactive cancer prevention tool (#530)

Robert K. Nuttall 1 , Prithwish De 1 , Monika Dixon 1 , Elizabeth Holmes 1
  1. Canadian Cancer Society, Toronto, ON, Canada


About half of all cancers can be prevented using the knowledge we currently have, but changing behaviour remains a challenge. Many Canadians are unable to identify lifestyle risk factors linked to cancer.1 Almost three-quarters of Canadian home Internet users go online for health information.2


The Canadian Cancer Society (the Society) developed It’s My Life!, a bilingual online tool with 3 goals:

  • Build awareness about cancer statistics, prevention and screening in a compelling way.

  • Engage and motivate users to take action and encourage sharing through social media.

  • Connect users to relevant information, programs and services on the Society’s website, cancer.ca.


Our innovative online tool raises awareness using evidence-based information. It covers the 13 most common and preventable cancers in Canada and 16 risk factors for cancer and is divided into 4 sections: likelihood of developing cancer, lifestyle risk factors, cancer statistics and pledging a healthy change. Users can navigate at their own pace and receive information tailored for them.


The tool was promoted through the Society’s website, social media and external communications. To help evaluate the tool, users can participate in an exit survey to gauge their initial impressions and in a future survey to evaluate change in awareness and behaviour. Social media and web metrics are being tracked to examine engagement.


It’s My Life! was launched in September 2014 on itsmylife.cancer.ca. In the first 3 weeks, people used the tool 12,142 times (66% new users and 34% returning users). Users made 2,447 pledges to change some aspect of their behaviour. Initial feedback suggests an increase in awareness and the intent to change lifestyle. The impact the tool has on behaviour change will be evaluated.

  1. The cancer prevention - attitudes, awareness and behaviours survey - 2008, conducted by Environics Research Group on behalf of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.
  2. Statistics Canada. Canadian Internet use survey - 2009 [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Statistics Canada. available from www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidian/100510/dq100510a-eng.htm (accessed September 5, 2013).