One-third of W. Australians unaware of cancer prevention methods

February 3, 2016 12:22 pm 

MELBOURNE, Feb. 3 — A study has found that one in every three Western Australians are unaware of measures to prevent common cancers.

The report, which was published on Wednesday, is based on a series of surveys undertaken by the West Australian (WA) Department of Health and has prompted authorities to consider escalating efforts to educate the public.

Chief health officer of WA, Tarun Weeramanthi, said it was of foremost importance that the public knew what they could do to reduce the risk of preventable cancers.

In some cases preventing cancer can be as easy as wearing a hat and sunscreen to protect your skin and cutting back on smoking and alcohol consumption.

"What we found was that about one of three people surveyed were actually quite surprised by the preventability of cancer," Weeramanthi said.

"I think there's some clues there for us now about how to talk to the public and what kind of education messages we can put out.

"Messages about tobacco smoking, about alcohol, about diet, physical activity, we need to reinforce some of the dietary messages."

The report also makes it clear that cancer prevention is much more reliable than attempts to create a cure.

"We hear a lot about new treatments for cancers and miracle cures but all that stuff is kind of outside of what we can control," Weeramanthi said.

"There are lots of things you can do in your everyday life which can reduce your own risk of cancer and that of your family."

The most prominent types of cancer in WA are breast, skin, stomach, bowel, prostate, lung, esophageal and cervical. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/SSC

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