World Cancer Day brings alarming new statistics

It’s been revealed that over 200,000 Australian cancer cases could be avoided if adults followed dietary and physical activity guidelines.

New research funded by Cancer Council Australia and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has revealed that if Australian adults followed the existing Australian Dietary and National Physical Activity guidelines, as many as 190,500 overweight/obesity-related cancers could be prevented over a 25-year period.

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, it was also found that almost 20,000 inactivity-related cancers could be avoided if adults committed to just five hours of physical activity a week.


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The findings released for World Cancer Day have prompted a call for personal and government action.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan explained that individuals can take steps to reduce their risk of lifestyle-related cancers.

“We already know that one-third of all cancer cases could be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a healthy diet, being physically active, quitting smoking, being SunSmart and limiting alcohol.

“Every Queenslander has the power to reduce the impact of cancer for themselves and the people they love – whether that’s through making healthy lifestyle choices, taking part in cancer screening programs, or raising funds for the cause,” Ms McMillan said.

Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO Cancer Council Australia, said that while it is important for people to look after themselves, the Federal Government also needs to do more to reduce these alarming statistics.

“In the lead up to the next federal election, both sides of politics need to recognise their responsibility to help protect children from mass marketing of junk food; improve the Health Star Rating food labelling system to provide simpler, more informed choices to consumers; and promote more public education about the benefits of good nutrition and exercise,” Ms Aranda said.

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