More than one third of cancers in Australia are preventable. Lifestyle has a big impact on cancer risk and many cancers are caused by things we can avoid, such as smoking, unhealthy diets and too much of the sun’s UV radiation.
Check for unusual changes and have regular screening tests
This includes taking part in regular bowel, breast and cervical screening. It is important to visit your doctor if you notice any unusual changes. Young people can also take advantage of the HPV vaccine as part of the National Immunisation Program.
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of at least 7 types of cancer. We recommend you limit alcohol to special occasions, introduce alcohol-free days, or choose low or no alcohol drinks.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being above a healthy weight can increase the risk of 13 types of cancer. We recommend reducing food and drinks which are high in fat, salt and sugar.
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy, balanced diet will give you more energy, help maintain your weight and reduce your cancer risk. Aim to eat five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day.
Be physically active
Regular physical activity can reduce your risk of cancers such as bowel and breast cancer and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Be active in as many ways as you can, take the stairs, walk instead of drive, do something you can enjoy with a friend such as tennis or dancing.
Sun protection is recommended whenever the UV level reaches three or above. Download the free SunSmart app to check what times of the day sun protection is required and remember to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek shade and Slide on sunglasses.
It’s never too late to stop smoking or vaping. The sooner you quit, the more you cut your cancer risk. There are many ways to quit, our Quitline counsellors are qualified experts and can help find strategies that will work for you.