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Cancer Council welcomes commitment to invest in prevention programs from childhood

Wednesday 14 November, 2018

Cancer Council welcomes a commitment from the Victorian Greens today to invest in prevention programs supporting good health from childhood and beyond.

With a third of all cancers preventable by making healthy choices such as being tobacco-free, SunSmart and having a healthy diet, prevention programs educate Victorians on how to reduce their cancer risk and support them in making healthy changes.

The Cancer Council welcomes the Greens plan to restrict advertising of sugary drinks and junk food targeted at children and restrict the availability of sugary drinks in public schools, sports clubs and hospitals.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said that with one-quarter of Australian children overweight or obese it is encouraging to see a commitment to prevention programs that tackle the issue early.

“Obesity and overweight is a risk factor for 13 types of cancer, as well as other chronic diseases,” Mr Harper said.

“Campaigns encouraging Victorians to eat well and maintain a healthy weight are necessary to reduce the future impact of obesity and unhealthy diets on cancer and other diseases.”

Mr Harper also welcomed the Greens’ commitment of $15 million per year ongoing for public information and engagement campaigns, including campaigns to increase Victoria’s bowel cancer screening rate, reduce smoking and to encourage healthy lifestyles while reducing rates of obesity.

“Bowel cancer is Australia’s second most common cancer cause of cancer death, yet if detected early, 90% of bowel cancers can be treated successfully.

“Currently only 40% of Victorians participate in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. Investment in increasing Victoria’s bowel cancer screening rate will not only produce high returns for the Victorian Government, it will save lives.”

“Ahead of the Victorian Election, the Cancer Council encourages both the government and opposition parties to detail plans to prevent cancer, and encourage more Victorians to take up bowel screening.”