HEALTH

One Third Of Australian Cancers Are Entirely Preventable

Here's the seven lifestyle factors to avoid.

29/09/2016 10:59 AM AEST | Updated 29/09/2016 5:32 PM AEST
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Cancer Council NSW
Cut back on alcohol, cut out smoking.

One in three Australian cancers could have been prevented by tweaking a few lifestyle changes.

That's 37,000 cancer diagnoses that could have never happened. Despite myths that everything from blue Mn'Ms to burnt toast give you cancer, the vast majority of preventable cancers are caused by seven common, avoidable risk factors.

The question is, can you name the seven?

According to Cancer Council NSW's new research, very few of us can.

The council found that while there's growing awareness that smoking, sunburn and UV exposure contributing to a person's risk of getting cancer, people are clueless about being overweight, alcohol, inactivity and red and processed meats.

Director of Cancer Programs Kathy Chapman told The Huffington Post Australia some messages hadn't gotten through.

"Alcohol has been a known carcinogen since 1988 but just under half could name it as a risk factor," Chapman said.

"As for being overweight, only four in 10 named that as a risk factor."

"When we look at how many preventable cancers are associated with the risk factors, smoking is still related to the most different types of cancer.

"Yet if you add up the cancers associated with being inactive, overweight, drinking alcohol and a poor diet, it adds up to almost as many preventable deaths."

Cancer Council NSW
Cut out the black, cut down on the blue and increase the yellow.

Chapman said you didn't need to become a teetotaler that never ate red meat to reduce your risk.

"Sometimes it's about cutting down as opposed to cutting something out all together," Chapman said.

"Smoking is one that should be cut out all together, but for something like red meat or alcohol, it's more about cutting down.

"The cards are in your hands."

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