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World Cancer Day: Take action on cancer prevention

On World Cancer Day, Cancer Australia is encouraging all Australians to join the global effort to help reduce the impact of cancer. Worldwide, it is estimated that by 2030, up to 21.7 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed.             

Under the banner ‘We can. I can.’, the 2017 World Cancer Day campaign, an international initiative of the International Union for Cancer Control (UICC), is inspiring individuals to be more active — in every sense.

“Australia is a world leader in cancer control, and has amongst the highest cancer survival rates in the world. Yet in Australia, one in two people will develop cancer before the age of 85. Around one new cancer case is diagnosed every four minutes,” said CEO of Cancer Australia, Dr Helen Zorbas.

“It is estimated that at least one third of all cancers are preventable and potentially more than half of all cancers could be avoided through a combination of healthy lifestyle and regular screening.

“Physical inactivity is one of seven modifiable cancer risk factors which have been identified by a strong body of international evidence,” said Dr Zorbas.

“Excess body fat and physical inactivity are associated with a number of cancers including bowel, oesophagus, endometrium, pancreas, kidney and postmenopausal breast cancer. These lifestyle factors pose cancer risks that are not always fully appreciated — unlike well-known risks such as smoking and excessive UV radiation.”

Cancer Australia recommends aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day and limiting sedentary habits, such as watching television, to reduce cancer risk.

“I encourage all Australians to visit Cancer Australia’s Check Your Cancer Risk, to assess individual lifestyle choices—including weight and diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking and sun exposure—and obtain tips and information on how to make healthy changes, ” said Dr Zorbas.

To reduce cancer risk, Cancer Australia recommends people:

  1. Don’t Smoke
  2. Maintain a healthy weight
  3. Be active
  4. Eat a balanced and nutritious diet.
  5. Limit alcohol consumption
  6. Be sun smart
  7. Reduce risk and protect against infection.

For more information: