Almost 40 per cent of Australian cancer deaths are potentially avoidable

Study shows that almost 40 per cent of cancer deaths are potentially avoidable.

Almost 40 per cent of Australian cancer deaths are potentially avoidable

Medical researchers have found that around 17,000 Australian lives could be saved each year, revealing that almost 40 per cent of cancer deaths are potentially avoidable.

According to researchers from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, smoking, poor diet, eating too much red meat, lack of exercise, poor sun awareness and excessive alcohol intake are responsible for cancer deaths that could be dodged.

The study analysed 20 modifiable risk factors internationally accepted as being causes for cancer. It examined data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to estimate how many of the total cancer deaths could have, in theory, been avoided or prevented.

Researchers found that modifiable risk factors were the cause of 34 per cent of cancer deaths among women and 41 per cent in men.

In 2013, smoking accounted for around 10,000 of Australia’s 44,000 cancer deaths. Smoking contributes to at least a dozen cancers.

“The proportions of potentially preventable cancer deaths are higher among men than women because, on average, men smoke and drink more, spend more time in the sun and don’t eat as well,” said lead researcher Professor David Whiteman.

Infections contribute to around five per cent of all Australian cancer deaths annually, and the main cancer culprits are skin, lung, bowel, stomach and liver cancer.

The study focused on modifiable risks outside of background genetic risk and didn’t account for environmental cancer causes, such as air pollution and exposure to radiation, because it is not quantifiable.

“While in many cases cancer is tragically unavoidable, this study highlights what we’ve known for years: cancer isn’t always a matter of genetics or bad luck.”

While the study highlights the need for lifestyle changes, Prof Whiteman was quick to point out that the research did not intend to blame people for poor choices.

QIMR institute has published recommendations that may reduce your risk of cancer.

Are you confident in your lifestyle choices?

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    COMMENTS

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    Charlie
    20th Dec 2017
    11:04am
    Cancer deaths may be avoidable, but death isn't. Even the author of this article will wind up in the refrigerator with a tag tied around their toe, as illustrated.
    Old Geezer
    20th Dec 2017
    11:17am
    Most people with cancer die from something other than the cancer. If 40% of those who die from cancer Is potentially preventable then that is not a big deal.
    casey
    20th Dec 2017
    11:51am
    Oh well. If its not cancer its something else. I have lived long enough that dying does'nt scare or bother me, so long as its quick and pain free.
    Tib
    20th Dec 2017
    1:40pm
    34% in women and 41% in men not much difference. With more women drinking and smoking every year can't imagine there will be much difference in the future. But if it isn't one thing it's another.
    Cat
    20th Dec 2017
    11:59pm
    If all this is true then why has nearly everyone that I have known or heard of that died from cancer been a person who does not drink or smoke, is into fitness and eating healthy, goes out walking to get exercise etc..?
    musicveg
    29th Dec 2017
    11:07pm
    Most likely they think their diet is healthy when it is not, too much meat and especially dairy and wheat cause inflammation and disease. Or maybe they just stressed out too much, never slept enough either.
    GeorgeM
    21st Dec 2017
    12:08am
    Why doesn't the Cancer Council use these findings and start advertising (use the large donations they collect) to prevent deaths by telling people to stop / minimise Alcohol, Processed Meats (not mentioned above), Red Meat, etc? Their only target has been smokers - are they scared to take on the other industries?
    musicveg
    29th Dec 2017
    11:03pm
    Because cancer is big business, they don't want people to get cured.
    jackie
    21st Dec 2017
    2:36pm
    We are all born to die. So make the most of what you have got left. The drug companies and the health would be out of business if every one were healthy. That is why our water, air and food are full of carcogenics. It’s all just one big business racket.
    jackie
    21st Dec 2017
    2:36pm
    We are all born to die. So make the most of what you have got left. The drug companies and the health would be out of business if every one were healthy. That is why our water, air and food are full of carcogenics. It’s all just one big business racket.
    musicveg
    29th Dec 2017
    11:12pm
    Yes, I am confident in my lifestyle, wholefood plant diet with lots of fresh organic leafy greens and fruit, exercise, and enough sleep, avoiding stress as much as possible. Meat and dairy consumption will cause inflammation and end up causing cancer, but especially not eating enough fruit and veg, has to be fresh not in a packet or bottle. No smoking and alcohol for me either. Cancer cells will grow with animal protein but not vegetable protein. Also avoid those nasty oils like canola.
    Alula
    23rd Jan 2018
    8:11pm
    Well musicveg, your post sounds like it fits my son. He was like you in his lifestyle, yet still got a very nasty cancer that nothing could cure. He died five months ago, not quite 50. There are many factors, many kinds of cancer. His was a very rare genetic kind.
    May you continue to enjoy good health.
    musicveg
    23rd Jan 2018
    8:20pm
    Sorry to hear that your son was not able to fight it, but it may have been in his body for a long time and yes there may be genetic kinds that effect your cells. I might not be able to cure anything but at least I can give it all I got to live healthy while I do live. I know I feel better than when I was younger especially in my mind, I am more calmer these days. You also have to be emotionally healthy too.


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