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Population Health & Prevention Unit

The Population Health and Prevention Unit creates high-quality information, tools and policy recommendations that focus on modifiable risk factors for cancer and other chronic diseases.

Since cancer shares many risk factors with other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the unit’s work also extends beyond cancer.

The unit is made up of 3 teams:


The unit's evidence-based products are guided by principles of health equity that aim to:

  • Change the behaviour of individual Ontarians and health professionals
  • Increase uptake of evidence-based health promoting policies and interventions

Key Initiatives

  • Prevention System Quality Index – an annual report that measures and monitors population-level policies and programs that can reduce the prevalence of cancer risk factors and limit exposure to them
  • My CancerIQ – an online assessment tool to help people understand their risk for specific cancers and how to lower their risks
  • Cancer Risk Factors in Ontario – a series of reports on topics including tobacco, alcohol and healthy living
  • Smoking Cessation Program – implemented in collaboration with regional cancer centres, this program offers patients support to quit smoking
  • CCO’s Prevention Strategy – a comprehensive 5-year plan to reduce the incidence of major chronic disease modifiable risk factors and exposures
  • Ontario Cancer Facts – monthly fact sheets for people whose work relates to cancer or other chronic diseases

Our Researchers

Our Population Health and Prevention scientists conduct population-based research. They:

  • Investigate new and existing risk factors and cancer-causing agents
  • Develop new ways to study cancer and chronic diseases
  • Develop and test interventions to assess how well they improve health in populations

Their work contributes to regulations, policies and programs to improve the health of people in Ontario. Read more about our researchers and their work: