Cancer prevention and lifestyle choices

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It is estimated that at least one third of all cancer cases are preventable, and that potentially more than half of all cancers could be avoided through a combination of healthy lifestyle and regular screening. Prevention offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer across the population.

There are a number of modifiable lifestyle factors that can reduce risk of cancer, some of which have health benefits beyond cancer in the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and type 2 diabetes.

Cancer Australia has developed a position statement which focuses on modifiable lifestyle factors where individual behavioural changes can reduce risk of cancers that are relevant to the Australian population. The scope of this position statement covers primary prevention of cancer through seven modifiable lifestyle factors, namely: tobacco, overweight and obesity, physical activity and sedentary behaviour, diet, alcohol, UV radiation and infections.  To read the full position statement see Lifestyle risk factors and the primary prevention of cancer.