At least one third1 and potentially more than half of all cancers could be prevented through a combination of healthy lifestyle and regular screening.2,3 This position statement summarises the evidence on cancer risk for seven modifiable lifestyle factors:  tobacco, overweight and obesity, physical activity and sedentary behaviour, diet, alcohol, UV radiation and infections.

Based on the available evidence, Cancer Australia recommends seven behaviours for adults to reduce their risk of cancer:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Be active
  • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Be sun smart
  • Reduce risk and protect against infection.

A number of these behaviours also have health benefits beyond cancer, in reducing risk of disease and death from other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease.4,29