Research was planned as a descriptive and cross-sectional study in order to explore knowledge and practices of individuals residing in the Bornova District about protection from and early diagnosis of cancer. The individuals residing in the Bornova District in Izmir constituted the population of research. A total of 195 persons, who were selected by convenience sampling method, participated in the study. Results show that 89.2% of the individuals knew what cancer was, 50.3% were alcohol consumers, 45.6% knew the relationship between cancer and being overweight, and 41.5% were exercising regularly. Of the individuals enrolled, 75.4% knew that some ingredients in ready-made foods contain substances causing cancer, but only 10.8% paid attention to the ingredients while buying a food, and 26.7% did not pay any attention at all. Of the women, 53.9% knew how to do breast self-examination and 29.2% thought that to have pap smear performed regularly was essential for protection from cancer. Although 14.2% of the men knew how to do testis examination, 76.4% did not know the importance of testis examination. A statistically significant correlation was found between the research participants who knew what cancer was and those who knew the signs of cancer (chi 2 = 8.077, SD = 1, P = .004 < .05). The levels of knowledge and practices related to protection from and early diagnosis of cancer among the individuals enrolled in the research were not sufficient.