Exercise could spare 200k from cancer
More than 200,000 cancer cases could be avoided in Australia over the next 25 years if people maintain a healthy weight and exercise regime.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show 62 per cent of Australian adults are overweight or obese and 48 per cent do not do enough physical activity.
Cancer accounts for three in 10 deaths in Australia.
Professor David Whiteman says his new findings are a sobering reminder this World Cancer Day that healthy eating and exercise could improve future health outcomes.
“We found up to 12 per cent of all overweight/obesity-related cancers in Australia – such as oesophageal adenocarcinoma, stomach cardia, colorectal, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, postmenopausal breast, endometrial, ovarian and thyroid cancer – could be avoided over the next 25 years if people changed their behaviour,” Professor Whiteman said.
“We also found up to 2 per cent of all inactivity-related cancers such as colon, postmenopausal breast and endometrial cancers could be prevented if Australians did five hours of moderate-intensity physical activity or 2.5 hours of vigorous exercise each week.
“That’s about 190,000 cases of overweight/obesity-related cancers and 19,000 cases of inactivity-related cancers.
“Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising within recommended guidelines would also help cut the rates of other causally related diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dementia.”
The study was funded by Cancer Council Australia and the National Health and Medical Research Council and commissioned by Cancer Council Australia.