Ad­vice on how to re­duce your risks

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - HEALTH - MATT GOSS

ADOPT­ING healthy be­hav­iours can cut a per­son’s risk of de­vel­op­ing cancer by a third, the chief of Cancer Aus­tralia has said. Ahead of World Cancer Day to­day, Cancer Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer He­len Zor­bas of­fered Aus­tralians ad­vice on how to re­duce their cancer risk.

She said quit­ting smok­ing and re­duc­ing con­sump­tion of al­co­hol and red meat were the best things a per­son could do to avoid cancer. Cancer is the most bur­den­some dis­ease in Aus­tralia mea­sured by the im­pact of pre­ma­ture death and liv­ing with ill­ness or in­jury. The Cancer Coun­cil of Aus­tralia says one in ev­ery two peo­ple will be di­ag­nosed with cancer by the age of 85 with 134 000 new cases ex­pected in 2018.

De­spite more peo­ple dy­ing from cancer than ever be­fore, the num­ber of deaths per 100 000 peo­ple at­trib­uted to cancer has dropped by 24%. The num­ber of smok­ers in Aus­tralia has also dropped, Zor­bas said, but it re­mains the big­gest cancer risk fac­tor.

“In Aus­tralia, the pro­por­tion of adults who smoke daily has steadily de­creased from 22% in 2001 to un­der 15% in 2014/2015, which is lower than com­pa­ra­ble coun­tries such as Canada, New Zealand and the United King­dom,” Zor­bas said.

“How­ever, smok­ing still di­rectly con­trib­utes to more than 13% of all can­cers in Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing cer­vi­cal, bowel, stom­ach, pan­creas and lung cancer and causes al­most a quar­ter of all cancer deaths.

“While quit­ting smok­ing can be a chal­lenge for peo­ple, it is vi­tal in re­duc­ing cancer risk,” she noted. Al­co­hol con­sump­tion and Aus­tralia’s obe­sity epi­demic were iden­ti­fied as other ma­jor risk fac­tors.

“Aus­tralians’ al­co­hol con­sump­tion has fallen markedly since it peaked in the early 1970s, but it is still high when com­pared to other Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD) coun­tries. In 2013, al­co­hol con­trib­uted to al­most 3.500 can­cers,” Zor­bas said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.