On World Cancer Day, new research released by Cancer Council Queensland revealed that the number of cancer cases could be reduced through adopting and maintaining healthy living practices.
The forecast, released this World Cancer Day (February 4), has shown that over 200,000 cancer cases could be avoided in Australia over the next 25 years if all Australian adults maintained a healthy weight and met the physical activity guidelines for cancer prevention.
The study, conducted by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, and funded by Cancer Council Australia and the National Health and Medical Research Council, aimed to quantify the proportion of cancer cases that would be potentially avoidable if the prevalence of overweight/obesity and inactivity could be reduced in Australia.
Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO Cancer Council Australia said, “With more than two-thirds of adults considered overweight or obese, and nearly half insufficiently active, these results show we have the potential to prevent a significant number of cancers in Australia and potentially save thousands of lives.”
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.”
Nutrition and physical activity recommendations
Cancer Council Queensland makes the following recommendations for nutrition and physical activity:
- Aim for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, such as a brisk walk, recreational swimming or dancing
- Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruit: five or more servings of vegetables and two or more servings of fruit per day
- Make most of your cereals wholegrain
- Eat meat in moderation – no more than 455 grams of cooked, lean red meat each week and avoid processed meats
- Select lower fat foods like lean meat and reduced-fat dairy products, and try using low-fat cooking methods like grilling instead of frying
- Choose low-salt products – flavour foods with herbs and spices instead of salt
- Avoid sugary drinks and limit energy-dense foods, such as ‘junk foods’ and sugary snacks
What is World Cancer Day?
World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) held on February 4 each year that raises awareness of cancer globally.
Another focus of this year’s awareness day is to debunk some common myths and misconceptions about cancer.
As the research released shows, there are some measures we can take to avoid some forms of cancer but there are many more myths and rumours about Cancer that leave us feeling fearful – unnecessarily in some cases.
iheard is a website that’s been set up to dispel some of the many myths about cancer. The aim of the site is to give accurate, evidence-based answers to cancer questions from the general public – with all information backed by Cancer Council Australia.