Reduce your risk

vegetable exercise woman

Healthy Lifestyles

Finding cancer early can lead to better outcomes – like living longer or less side effects.

If you are aware of the signs and symptoms, cancer can be found early. While some risk factors are outside our control, reduce your risk by taking some simple steps:

Reduce your risk

A third, 1 in 3 cancer deaths are preventable.


Quit smoking

Smoking is still the largest single cause of lung cancer and 13 other cancers, and is responsible for over 20% of the cancers in Australia.

  •  Avoid exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Go to: National Quitline 13 78 48 (13 QUIT).

Be Sun Smart

There were around 2000 deaths from skin cancer in 2010.

  • Avoid using solariums and sunbeds
  • Avoid excessive exposure to the sun
  • Use clothing and sunscreen

Be active

Physical activity reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer, and may reduce the risk of lung, pancreatic and ovarian cancers.

  • Do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 4+ days a week

Healthy diet

Obesity is a risk factor for breast, colon, endometrial and kidney cancers. Exercise and a nutritious diet are the best ways to stay healthy.

  • Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit a day
  • Lower saturated and total fat
  • Avoid salt
  • Lower sugar and foods containing sugar
  • Eat high fibre foods such as wholegrains

Limit alcohol

Alcohol is known to increase risk of breast, liver, colon, head and neck cancers.

  • Limit alcohol to 2 standard drinks a day

Get Screened & Visit your Doctor

Finding cancer at an early stage increases the chances of successful treatment and improved survival. To find cancer early:

  1. Know your body. If there is anything unusual, see your doctor.
  2. Get Screened. The Australian Government runs a number of screening programs.
  • BreastScreen Australia. For women over 40. More information here.
  • National Cervical Screening Program. Promotes routine screening. Call 131556 or at National Cervical Screening Program
  • National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. This program provides a free home bowel cancer screening kit for those eligible over 50. More information here.

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